WB announces upcoming start of Baku-Shemakhi road construction
Baku, Fineko/abc.az. The World Bank is ready to expand highway Baku-Shemakhi (M4) within its Third Main Road Project in Azerbaijan.
New WB Country Director for South Caucasus Henry Kerali has stated that choice of contractors is under completion and construction will begin soon.
"The process has dragged out because of the Bank’s standard procedures - the need to assess the impact on the environment and social impact. The project also requires repurchase of land for public use that requires time, as well as the final technical design and its optimization," Kerali said.
The tender process started as far as in the first half of 2011.
The loan agreements between the government and the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD) and WBG structural branch International Development Association (IDA), concerning the third project of main highways were signed as far as 11 August 2010.
With the purpose of expansion of 100 km automobile road Baku-Shemakhi-Muganli from two to four strips IDA will provide $70 million for the term of 20 years with 10 years of payment by installments and IBRD – 176.1 million for the term of 17 years with four years of payment by installments. Total cost of the project makes $302 million without regard to value added tax. The overall cost of the Project is $356.15 million and the WB Board approved totally $241.6 million. 85% of the project budget will be directed for transportation (roads and highways) and 15% for public administration, law, and justice issues.
The long-term objective of the project is to contribute to a more efficient and safer Baku-Shamakhi road as part of the upgrading to motorway standards, and to improve the management of the nascent motorway network.
There are three components to the project.
The first component of the project is motorway improvement - upgrading a 100km section of the existing two lane M4 Baku-Shamakhi road into four-lane motorway and related road safety activities. This component comprises civil works for the Baku-Shamakhi road and consultancy services for works supervision. It also finances road safety activities to be implemented throughout the project duration including design, construction, and opening of new four-lane road. The government will finance land acquisition and resettlement costs. The component also includes consultancies for technical audit of works and design of priority investments of the main road network.
The second component of the project is institutional development. This component including: (a) preparation of a study to explore options for a policy on management and financing and efficient allocation of resources for Azerbaijans motorways; and (b) institutional development of the Azerbaijan Road Service (ARS) in motorway operation and maintenance by: (i) establishing motorway guidelines; (ii) testing a small experimental motorway management unit at ARS; and (iii) carrying out an operations and maintenance pilot on sections of the existing motorways.
The third component of the project is project management. The project will finance consultant services, equipment and Technical Assistance (TA) to support project management capacity of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), including office equipment, software, training (especially financial management), seminars, and financial management TA, and project of financial audits.
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