New glass elevator built at Georgia’s Enguri dam

  • The concept plan of Enguri dam's infrastructural development was created by two Estonian experts. Photo by Georgian Heritage., 26 Sep 2016 - 14:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

New tourist infrastructure is being built at one of Georgia’s most unique monuments – Enguri Dam – to give visitors a fresh look at parts of the site that currently can’t be accessed.

Development plans showed tourists could soon venture deep into the dam via elevator, giving them access to parts of the dam previously only open to workers.

A spokesperson from Georgian Heritage told an old elevator was already in place that used to transport materials and equipment from ground level into the dam, and this would be restored for tourist use.

The spokesperson said Enguri dam was the world’s fourth largest concrete arch dam therefore the restored glass elevator, taking guests from the bottom of the dam to a lookout point at the top, would be one of the longest in the world.

Other infrastructure to be built at the site includes a visitor centre, museum, cable cars, high lookout spots that overlook Enguri River and special activities for extreme sport lovers.

The aim of the development was to encourage more local and foreign visitors to the site.

A museum, tourist centre and lookout spots will soon be built overlooking Enguri River. Photo from Gela Bedianashvili/Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

Three strategic development ways to convert Enguri dam into a well-known tourist attraction were created and presented by Estonian experts Ott Sarapuu and Andrus Koeresaar.

In the coming months experts will review the three concept plans and select the best elements from each plan to create one Action Plan.

The final plan will be completed before December, and in the early 2017 the first stage of infrastructural works at Enguri dam will begin. This first stage is expected to take three years to complete.

Enguri dam, located near Georgia’s north-western town of Jvari, was last year added to the list of the country’s most distinguished cultural heritage sights and officially granted the status of National Monument.

The dome-shaped dam is regarded among the world’s largest concrete arch dams, measuring 271.5 metres high and 728 metres wide.

Enguri dam is part of the Enguri Hydro-Electric Power Plant. Recognised as the largest hydroelectric plant in South Caucasus, the Enguri power plant is a sprawling complex built on an area of nearly 1,000 km2, from Jvari town to the Black Sea.