By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan has started the construction of tunnels on the new Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway that is being built in the formerly-occupied territories, Azertag has reported.
The 84.6-km highway will connect the Fuzuli and Shusha cities that were liberated from the Armenian occupation during the six-week-war in autumn 2020. The foundation of the highway was laid during President lham Aliyev’s visit to the cities on January 14.
Tunnels and road junctions of different levels will be built around the highway due to the difficult terrain where it is being constructed.
In total, seven tunnels are being built along the Ahmadbeyli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway, including the tunnel laid on June 14, passing through the Dashalti village. The total length of the tunnels under construction will be 6.3 km. The 12-meters-wide tunnels will have two lanes in one direction and will vary from 360 to 3,300 meters in length.
The project also envisages the construction of nine viaducts, 59 water pipes and ten underground passages in different parts of the road.
It should be noted that the first 48 km of the Ahmadbeyli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway, which passes through large settlements (including the famous Topkhana forest in Shusha) will consist of six lanes and the rest 48-84.6 km of four lanes. The width of the roadbed will be 29.5 and 21.5 meters, respectively.
Along with the Azerbaijan State Agency of Automobile Roads, AZVIRT LLC and the Turkish company Kolin Inshaat have been involved in the construction process.
The construction of the landfill has already been completed on the 0-3, 34-37 and 51-53 km sections of the road, and work is underway in the next kilometer. Currently, earthworks and excavations are being carried out at 17-42 and 51-84 kilometers of the road and the construction of a bridge on the 49th kilometer of the road has started.
The construction of a new Ahmadeyli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway that starts from the M6 Hajigabul-Bahramtapa-Minjivan-Armenia state border highway and passes through the liberated Fuzuli, Khojavend, Khojaly and Shusha regions, is expected to be completed in 2022.
This road project, implemented in coordination with other relevant government agencies within the Working Group on Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Interdepartmental Center under the Coordination Headquarters, is an integral part of the unified transport concept of Karabakh.
The Coordination Headquarters that is headed by the Head of the Presidential Administration Samir Nuriyev established on November 24, 2020 in line with the presidential decree to address the issues in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan in a centralized manner.
Azerbaijan allocated AZN 2.2 billion ($1.3bn) for reconstruction works in the liberated territories in 2021. In particular, these fund will be used to restore the infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, etc), as well as cultural and historical monuments.
Azerbaijan liberated 300 city centers, settlements, villages and the historic Shusha city in the war that lasted from September 27 to November 10. The Russian-brokered peace deal also stipulated the return of Kalbajar, Lachin and Aghdam regions occupied by the Armenian forces in the war in the early 1990s.
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