YEREVAN (Arka)—The Artashat-Ashtarak section of the North-South transport corridor will be commissioned before the end of this year, Armenian Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Arthur Arakelian said Friday in the National Assembly.
“Concrete lining of the 31-kilometer Artashat-Ashtarak section of North-South motorway is already completed, and now testing procedures as well as construction of road facilities and infrastructure have started,” he said at a parliamentary hearing.
According to Arakelian, four more such sections remain to be completed.
Arakelian also added that negotiations are underway with Iran to build a similar road, which will be connected to the North-South highway.
Arakelyan said that the first tranche of the contractual cost of the first section of the highway amounts to $70.4 million, of which $60 million will be provided by the Asian Development Bank.
The Armenian government approved January 14, 2010 the investment program to build the North-South transport corridor, as well as a $500 million framework loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank.
According to Armenian officials, the cost of building the North-South transport corridor is estimated at $ 1.5 billion.
Currently two sections of the road are being built; one stretches from Artashat to Ashtarak and the second from Ashtarak to Talin.
About 3,000 new jobs will be created for completing the construction of the North-South transport corridor in Armenia, Deputy Minister of Economy Garegin Melkonyan told a parliamentary discussion on the project.
The transport corridor will stretch from the southern Armenian town of Meghri, on the border with Iran, to Bavra in the north on the border with Georgia. The North-South transport corridor will enable Armenia to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
According to Armenian officials, the cost of building the North-South transport corridor is estimated at $1.5 billion.