The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved $60 million to co-finance the construction of the 9-km long Kvesheti-Kobi tunnel, which forms a part of the North-South corridor.
The Roads Department of Georgia reports that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has already allocated $415 million for the construction of the Kvesheti-Kobi road and tunnel. The Georgian government has contributed $83.6 million.
The road passes through difficult terrain and is characterized by heavy snowfalls in the winter period. The new road and tunnel aim to solve these existing problems.
The Roads Department of Georgia reports that uninterrupted transit movement will be possible at any time of the year.
The tunnel will provide safer and more reliable conditions for travelers during the winter, while the new road will enable to avoid traffic flows in Kazbegi National Park and Gudauri winter resort.
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, improve road safety and carrying capacity, reduce the risk of road accidents and decrease the time needed for travel.
The construction of a two-lane, 22.7-km long asphalt-concrete road, six bridges and five tunnels will start at the end of 2019 and will be completed in 2023.
The tunnel project cost is 909 million GEL ($306 or EUR 278 million) and will take four years to complete. (Agenda/Business World Magazine)