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Herat bypass road: MoPW awards contract to local company

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: The Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) on Tuesday awarded contract of the Lot-1 of the Herat bypass road construction to a local firm called the Unique Construction Company.

The 20.4 kilometers long and 10 meters wide road will be completed within next 18 months. The road will be asphalted 17 centimeters thick. Construction of two 100 meters long and 15 meters wide bridges are also part of the project. The project has been funded by Italy. It will cost $ 10.89 million.

The road will connect Herat to Islam Qala and Kandahar. High tonnage trucks will use the bypass road and would reduce traffic congestion in Herat.

Minister of Public Works, Mahmood Baligh, said that Rome as a close partner of Kabul has funded big projects. Some of the projects have been completed while others are on the cards.

The first lot of Herat bypass road is part of the 45km long roads project which will cost $32 million. The 50km long road from Kabul City to Onai valley and another 82km long road project from Onai valley to Bamyan City are the other projects partly funded by the Italian government, he said.

Italy has also funded the Herat-Chusht-e-Sharif road project.

Italy’s Ambassador to Kabul, Luciano Pezzotti, said: “This is not the first infrastructure project that Italy funded, but I am particularly proud of the Herat bypass road. This project will provide a significantly improved level of connectivity around the city of Herat which will have a direct effect on the livelihood of Herat’s residents and local enterprises.”

The bypass road would directly connect the roads from Iran and Turkmenistan with the Ring Road, thereby preventing heavy duty vehicles and trucks to enter into the urban areas.

The benefit related to transport operation generated by this project has been estimated at $460 million savings over 20 years. According to Pezzotti, Italy has allocated €275 million for uplift projects. About €135 million has been disbursed.

The rehabilitation of the road from Herat to Chisht-i-Sharef, for €94.3 million, mostly to be paid as a soft loan to the Afghan government which has been approved by the Italian government, added the ambassador.

The reconstruction of Azizabad-Shindand (12km) and Khoja Oria-Shindand (24km) roads, connecting the urban area of Shindand city with Ring Road, a €13 million project, has been completed recently, he added.

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