Wednesday, June 06, 2012 -
Kyrgyzstan said Wednesday it is ready to spend at least $100 million on reconstructing the primary highway linking the capital Bishkek with the city of Osh, often referred to as the country’s southern capital.
The highway crosses an east-west mountain range that virtually cuts the nation into two. Parts of the main north-south transportation artery are frequently blocked during the winter-spring season by heavy winter snows and spring avalanches and mudslides.
The Investment Projects Implementation Group under the Kyrgyz transport ministry said work is scheduled to begin in 2014 following completion of an assessment, the Bishkek-based 24.kg news agency reported.
“The Asian Development Bank [ADB] is ready to render technical assistance to make the feasibility study, then the amount of financing will be determined,” the transportation agency said in its report.
According to the plans, long sections of the highway will be entirely repaved, while around 30 miles of road leading out from the capital Bishkek will be widened to two lanes in either direction.
“The service life of Bishkek-Osh highway expired long ago,” Transportation and Communications Minister Kalybek Sultanov said last month.
South Korean firm Samsung constructed the highway in 2000, yet transportation authorities had not kept it up since.
“Major repairs should be made after the first six years of maintenance – to remove the top layer of asphalt and lay a new one,” Sultanov told a parliamentary session on May 22.
“But the state had no money,” he added, 24.kg reported at the time.