By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan is constructing a new road to its recently-liberated Shusha city that had been under the Armenian occupation since 1992.
According to preliminary estimates, the new highway - Ahmadbeyli-Fuzuli-Shusha - will be 101.5 km in length and 37.7 meters in width, taking into account the prospects for the development of the region, the State Agency of Azerbaijan Automobile Roads has reported.
The new highway will help reduce the distance from capital Baku to Shusha to nearly 363 km and its construction is expected to be completed by late 2021 or 2022.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the road’s construction was held during President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to the liberated Fuzuli and Jabrayil regions on November 16. Aliyev signed a decree for the construction of Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway on November 17. Under the decree, 50 million manats ($29.4 million) were initially allocated to the State Agency of Azerbaijan Automobile Roads to design and construct the road.
The Fuzuli-Shusha highway will start from the M6 section of the Hajigabul-Bahramtapa-Minjivan-State border with Armenia highway, passing the Fuzuli’s Ahmadbayli village, through the liberated Fuzuli, Khojavend, Khojaly and Shusha regions and will cover more than 20 settlements.
The main part of the highway will consist of four lanes with a width of 21.5 m. In addition, the project envisages the construction of one reserve traffic lane in each direction. Overall, the road will consist of six traffic lanes, including reserve ones.
The project is conditionally divided into five parts in order to complete the construction in a short period of time. As the main force, the agency’s personnel are currently carrying out construction work throughout the project. In addition, a group of Turkish companies, including Kolin Insaat, which has experience in building roads in difficult terrain, and a local construction company are involved in the project.
It is planned to build and put into operation a new road with two lanes and gravel surface to ensure comfortable and safe movement of vehicles on the new Fuzuli-Shusha highway. In parallel, construction work continues within the project.
The project also envisages the construction of drainage pipes of various diameters, and road bridges to ensure the passage of water on the road.
It should be noted that work on the preparation of a master plan for the Azerbaijani liberated Shusha city has begun, according to Head of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Samir Nuriyev.
Shusha was the last of Azerbaijani cities liberated from the Armenian occupation during the war between September 27 and November 10.
The Azerbaijani government has allocated AZN 2.2 billion ($1.3bn) for reconstruction works in the liberated territories in 2021. In particular, these funds will be used to restore the infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, etc), as well as cultural and historical monuments. In addition, Azerbaijan allocated over AZN 9 million ($5m) to compensate damages to its citizens who suffered from Armenia's aggression during the six-week war over Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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