THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$274.2 million loan to reconstruct 240 kilometres of highway in the western part of Uzbekistan. The loan was approved on September 1.
“As a double landlocked country, Uzbekistan has made regional connectivity the centerpiece of its transport policy,” comments ADB senior transport specialist Pawan Karki. “This project will help to develop the country’s potential as a regional transport and logistics hub between Europe and South and East Asia, promoting economic growth.”
As part of the project, a 240 kilometre section of the Guzar–Bukhara–Nukus–Beyneu highway in Karakalpakstan will be reconstructed as a two lane, cement concrete road including access roads to link villages to the highway.
The road is one of the region’s key trade routes, and part of Corridor 2 of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme.
The CAREC programme is a partnership of 11 countries - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - aimed at promoting economic growth and development through regional cooperation, and supported by development partners. ADB hosts the CAREC secretariat in its headquarters in Manila.
To improve road safety and traffic efficiency, the project will help the Ministry of Transport install an intelligent transport system along a 100 kilometre pilot section of the Tashkent–Namangan road, which has among the heaviest traffic in Uzbekistan. The system will monitor traffic and road conditions in real time, feeding information and warnings to display boards and websites.
Two fully automated weigh-in-motion facilities will be installed at select points of the national road network, to avoid overloading of vehicles on the highway network and prevent accelerated pavement deterioration.
ADB has invested US$1.3 billion in road and rail transport infrastructure in Uzbekistan, whose road network is viewed as vital to regional connectivity.