YEREVAN (PanARMENIAN.Net) — The construction of the North-South transport corridor stretching from southern Armenian town of Meghri on the border with Iran to Bavra on the Armenian-Georgian border will be completed in 2019, the chairman of the Armenian parliamentary committee on budget and finance issues told a news conference Monday, January 11.
Accoridng to ARKA, the first two sections of the corridor were inaugurated on December 29 last year. The first six-lane section stretches from Yerevan to Artashat; the second one, with four lines, runs from Yerevan to Ashtarak. With a total length of 31 km, both have a 100-110 km/h speed limit.
“Implementation of such a major project is a lengthy, costly and complicated process,” Gagik Minasyan said. “When fully constructed, the new highway will link the ports of the Persian Gulf to those on the Black Sea, creating new opportunities for us to use our internal resources.”
According to him, implementation of a project of this scale may bring about problems and risks, “but the change of contractor indicates that the government of Armenia is interested in a complete, timely and quality implementation of the project.”
Speaking about a string of financial abuses reported, Minasyan said all the culprits had been punished and all the misused funds were recovered. The parliamentarian, however, failed to disclose any numbers.
The North-South Transport Corridor aims to upgrade Armenia’s main corridor road as part of a broader push to improve connectivity, and boost trade, growth and livelihood opportunities in the Caucasus and Central Asia sub-regions.
Funds are released by the Asian Development Bank periodically through a multi-tranche financing facility. The project will ultimately enable Armenia to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.