Construction of 2-lane and 22.7-km asphalt concrete road, 6 bridges and 5 tunnels is planned on Kvesheti-Kobi road, including construction of one 9-km tunnel. The tunnel starts at the village of Tskere and ends at the village of Kobi, mentioned tunnel will pass under the Jvari pass. Construction of Kvesheti-Kobi road is divided into 2 lots.
Kvesheti-Kobi section is part of the North-South Transport Corridor. The road passes through the difficult meteorological route and is characterized with heavy snowfalls in the winter period. Due to avalanche hazard and difficult meteorological conditions in the winter period, traffic is often closed and transit traffic is interrupted. The new road and the 9-km tunnel will solve existing problems. Unhindered transit traffic will be possible at any time of the year.
After construction of the new road, a distance between Kvesheti and Kobi will be reduced by 12 km instead of existing 35 km road, and the travel time on this road will be reduced to 20 minutes instead of 1 hour.
Kvesheti-Kobi road goes along the riverbed of Tetri Aragvi on a 7-km section, passes through the village of Arakveti, after which starts Serpentine, at Kvemo Mleta. The road passes through Gudauri, crosses Jvari pass and ends at the village of Kobi. In total, 9 villages are included in the project impacted area.
The tunnel provides more secure and reliable conditions for road users in the winter period. In addition to this, the new road will prevent traffic flow from the Kazbegi National Park and Gudauri winter resort. The road will also improve living conditions for remaining population in the gorge, which are isolated from the outside world in the winter; villages of Khada gorge are almost empty. There are no grocery stores and pharmacies in the gorge, medical assistance is not accessible. Due to road closure and hard winter, population is forced to move on foot toward Kvesheti, which is associated with many difficulties and risks. It should also be considered that in upper villages of the gorge, mainly, middle-aged and elderly population is remained. For them, movement on this road in the winter period is especially difficult.
The project will ensure to keep unhindered traffic in the winter period, to improve road safety and conductivity, reduce accident risks and travel time. The road will promote connection between local population and the outside world. The road may help to return population in the gorge, development of small businesses and revival of the gorge.
After opening of Larsi border checkpoint with the Russian Federation, international transit companies (from Turkey, Armenia, Ukraine, etc.), local population and tourists will use this road intensively, as a result of which, recently, traffic intensity increased significantly and it is expected to increase freight traffic and turnover in the nearest future.
The Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development finance construction works of Kvesheti-Kobi section. Supposedly, construction works will be started at the end of 2020 and will be completed in 2024.
Video of Kvesheti-Kobi connecting road and tunnel >>>>