An agreement to build a 9-km tunnel on the Kvesheti-Kobi road was signed today by Chinese company China Railway Tunnel Group Co., LTD (CRTG) and the Georgian Ministry of Infrastructure, announces the Roads Department of Georgia.
The Kvesheti-Kobi road is a part of the North-South Road Corridor, connecting Georgia with its northern and southern neighbours.
The road passes through difficult terrain and is often closed due to heavy snowfall in the winter.
Construction work will start at the end of 2019 and will be completed in 2023. Photo: The Roads Department of Georgia.
Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Irakli Karseladze called the agreement ‘the biggest’ in the history of the country.
The construction of a two-lane, 22.7 km long asphalt-concrete road, six bridges and five tunnels are planned on the Kvesheti-Kobi road, including the construction of one nine kilometer long tunnel. The cost of building the Kvesheti-Kobi road and the tunnel is $558.6 million.
The cost of building the Kvesheti-Kobi road and the tunnel is $558.6 million. Photo: The Roads Department of Georgia.
The road will also improve the living conditions of inhabitants living in the gorge, who are often isolated from the outside world in the winter, allowing them to maintain constant movement in the winter, improve road safety and carrying capacity, reduce the risk of road accidents and decrease the time needed for travel.
In total, the project will benefit nine villages.
Construction on the Kvesheti-Kobi section is being financed by the Asian Development Bank ($415 million) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ($60 million). The rest ($83.6 million) is financed by the Government of Georgia.
Construction work will start at the end of 2019 and will be completed in 2023.
The tunnel project cost is 909 million GEL ($306/€278 million) and will take four years to complete.