YEREVAN, ARMENIA – Improvements are due to begin on 38-kilometers of the Yerevan to Ararat four-lane highway, an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded project that is expected to spur economic development and promote connectivity in Armenia.
"Rehabilitating the road network is a top priority for the country as it will increase trade, investment flows, and jobs,” said David Dole, ADB Resident Representative in Armenia. “Good roads foster regional cooperation and integration and increase the country’s competitiveness.”
The project will widen the road in places and improve safety through the provision of barriers, road lighting, and pedestrian areas. The second phase of the works will reconstruct a 12-km stretch of the Yerevan to Ashtarak road, improve drainage, rebuild bridges and resurface the road with concrete. These two phases will cost $70.4 million.
Widening and reconstruction of a 42-km stretch of the Ashtarak to Talin road, which will form the third phase of the works, will also be funded by ADB, with work set to start on this section later this year. The construction cost will be $179.6 million.
The road works are part of the North-South Road Corridor Investment Program, designed to improve the Agarak-Kapan-Yerevan-Bavra road that crosses Armenia from south to north. This key economic artery links up with Georgia's east-west highway that leads to Poti and Batumi on the Black Sea. This route provides Armenia with the shortest access to the seaports linked to Europe, the Russian Federation, and Turkey.
The Caucasus connects Central Asia to Europe and is a major transit route for crude oil and other exports from Central Asia. The potential for turning the Caucasus into a business and logistics hub is now well recognized, and a number of investment programs, supported by ADB, are planned or under way to upgrade transport systems in both regions.
Among the key beneficiaries will be urban and rural communities, including three million people living in the area which the road traverses. Armenia has a number of historic sites dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries that attract visitors from around the world, and the tourism sector is also likely to gain from better roads.