ArmInfo.In a few days, the Georgian authorities will sign an agreement on the construction of a 23-km Kvesheti-Kobi bypass road (Mtskheta-Mtianeti region) leading to the border with Russia, which will begin before the end of this year. According to TASS, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze told reporters on August 13 at a presentation of the results of the six-month work of the Department of Roads of the Ministry of Regional Development.
"A document will be signed in a few days and by the end of the year a project of historical importance will begin - the Kobi-Gudauri expressway (Kvesheti-Kobi -TASS note). It will be one of the most difficult engineering structures in Europe with one of the longest tunnels. Of course, the project needs investments, and they have already been attracted and [the relevant agreements] have been signed," Bakhtadze said. The new road construction project involves laying two-lane asphalt pavement, building six bridges and five tunnels, one of which will be up to nine kilometres long. The construction of a 500-meter arch bridge is also planned on the new road. The length of the arch of the bridge will be 300 meters. The new road will reduce the path from 1 hour to 20 minutes, and it will be 12 kilometres shorter than the current one. Today, about 3,500 cars a year move along the old road. It is narrow, with small tunnels, which often causes a traffic accident. The construction of a bypass road will increase the traffic capacity, which, as planned by the authorities, will positively affect the size of Georgia's trade turnover not only with Russia, but also with Armenia.
The total cost of the project is $ 558.6 million. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on August 1 approved a loan of $ 415 million for the construction of the road. In addition to ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which will allocate $ 60 million, and the Georgian government, which is ready to invest $ 83.6 million, will participate in the project.
It should be noted that for Armenia, the road through Georgia to Russia is the only land route for transporting goods and passengers. The current road is often closed due to avalanches, mudflows and landslides.