ArmInfo.A meeting of the Armenian - Georgian intergovernmental joint commission established to coordinate the construction of a new bridge over the Debed River near the Sadakhlo - Bagratashen checkpoint was held.
According to the press service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration of the Republic of Armenia, according to the results of the online session, the construction work of the new bridge "Friendship"was started.
Welcoming the participants, the Co-Chair of the Armenian-Georgian Joint Intergovernmental Commission, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration of the Republic of Armenia Kristine Galechyan noted that Armenia attaches great importance to infrastructure development programs. "The construction of a new bridge near the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen checkpoint is one of the priorities of the RA government. This is the focus of public attention and the two countries should do everything possible for the successful implementation of the program, " she said, while pointing to the need to guarantee the quality of the construction of the bridge and the performance of work in accordance with international standards. He also praised the efforts of the Georgian government to build a new bridge.
The Georgian side also pointed out the importance of the construction of the "Friendship" bridge in terms of convenient and safe border crossing between the two countries.
During the meeting, the head of the new bridge construction program at the Bagratashen checkpoint, Isabella Muradyan, presented the details of the project and its current stage.
According to this, two separate bridges will be built in two directions at a distance of 1 m from each other. The length of the bridge will be 386 m, the width of the road - 8.35 m. The total span width of each bridge is 11.85 m. The bridge will have external lighting and a drainage system.
The parties approved the project documentation, the list of personnel required for construction, as well as cargo, vehicles that must enter the construction zone in a simplified manner. During the meeting, the need to simplify certain procedures to ensure the successful and timely implementation of the program was discussed.
The construction of a new bridge over the Debed River near the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen checkpoint is a joint Armenian-Georgian program, funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the governments of Armenia and Georgia. A contract for the design and construction of the bridge was signed with Ariana Tunnel Dam Co (Iran). Technical supervision is carried out by the joint venture Soosung Engineering Co., Ltd ? Korea Consultants International Co., Ltd. (Korea).
It should be noted that according to the project, the Druzhba Bridge will be 4-lane, which will make it possible to increase the volume of freight traffic between the two states, will improve the quality of passenger service. The new infrastructure project will also save carriers ' time. Back in November 2018, the Department of Roads of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia announced the start of construction of the Druzhba Bridge on the Georgian-Armenian border (Sadakhlo - Bagratashen). The ministry said that a construction company has already been selected to build the bridge, and the inspection company is currently being selected. The Friendship Bridge is being built with the support of the Governments of Armenia and Georgia. The project is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has allocated 6 million euros for its implementation. "The project of building a common bridge is unique for the region: one part of the bridge will be on the territory of Georgia, and the second-Armenia. The parties also shared the financing - Armenia will pay 50% of the loan, and Georgia will pay the remaining 50%, " the report said. At the same time, it was emphasized that the new bridge will allow motorists to move freely along the East - West and North - South transit corridors.
The agreement on the construction of the "Friendship Bridge" between Armenia and Georgia was signed on December 24, 2014. But on November 23, 2012, Armenia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed an agreement on financing the construction of a new bridge at the main border crossing point between Armenia and Georgia in Bagratashen. The project will cost the Armenian side 3 million euros.
The loan will be granted for a period of 15 years, of which the first three years will be preferential with a floating interest rate for each tranche separately for each half-year. As a result of the program, the passage of people through the checkpoint will be reduced from 15 minutes to 5 minutes, and cargo-from 75 minutes to 25 minutes.