YEREVAN (Arka)— December 29 marked the opening of the first two sections of the North-South transport corridor. The first section that stretches from Yerevan to Artashat has become a six-lane road, while the second section which is from Yerevan to Ashtarak has become four-lane road. Both have a 100-110 km/h speed limit and make up a total length of 31 km.
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian attended the opening ceremony of the transport corridor.
Arthur Sargsyan, the executive director of the state non-commercial organization North-South, said $75 million were spent on the construction of these sections of the road.
“The highway complies with international road speed standards. The advantage of concrete roads over asphalt roads is their durability. The average service life of a concrete road is 20-30 years, while the service life of asphalt roads is 10-15 years,” Sargsyan said.
According to Sargsyan, Armenia-made cement is used in building concrete roads, which means investment money is spent on the purchase of locally-made materials.
The goal of North-South Transport Corridor project is to upgrade Armenia’s main corridor road as part of a broader thrust to improve connectivity, and boost trade, growth and livelihood opportunities in the Caucasus and Central Asia sub-regions.
Funds are being released by the Asian Development Bank periodically through a multi-tranche financing facility. 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.
Currently the construction of the road is underway from Artashat to Ashtarak and from Ashtarak to Talin. The Ministry of Transport and Communications plans also the implementation of separate smaller projects at various sections of the road in order to end the construction both in southern and northern directions by 2019.