Wedged in the heart of the ancient Caucasus region, Georgia is expanding its road network to promote domestic and regional trade.
ADB is helping finance the construction of a bypass road to divert heavy traffic from the seaside resort town of Kobuleti, and provide an additional boost to the tourism boom along the country's Black Sea coast.
Kobuleti, Georgia – Georgia occupies a strategic location at the crossroad of Europe and Asia.
The country is now expanding its road networks to promote domestic and regional trade. It’s building 800 km of roads, 40 km of tunnels, and several bridges.
“We are developing the east-west and the south-west corridors, building new stretches of road and repairing old ones,” says Giorgi Seturidze, Chairman of the Roads Department of Georgia.
Trucks are the backbone of these busy trade highways. Along Georgia’s Black Sea coast, traffic can reach up to 18,000 vehicles per day.
ADB is financing the construction of a bypass around the town of Kobuleti.
“The main road passing through Kobuleti is overloaded with traffic. We hope that when the work is done heavy traffic will bypass the town,” says Rati Megrelidze, Deputy Governor of Kobuleti Municipality.
Tourism is already 70 per cent of the local economy, and will grow more when the bypass opens.
“The work done here will help grow the local economy as well as that of the entire region,” says Ramaz Bolkvadze, Minister of Economic and Finance of the Ajara Autonomous Republic.
Kobuleti residents are upbeat about the bypass. “We are happy that the new road is being built,” say Makvala and Nino Dadiani. “It will be good for tourists as well as locals.”
Building the bypass has already brought economic opportunities to locals.
“I have been happily working at the construction site since 2011. Before that, I didn’t have a job and we had a hard time at home,” says janitor Marina Tavartkiladze.
Work on the Kobuleti bypass continues at pace.