By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have laid the foundation for the Zangazur corridor - the Horadiz-Jabrayil-Zangilan-Aghband highway, Azertag reported on October 26.
Prior to the event, the leaders familiarized themselves with the construction process on the Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha highway, the report added.
Azerbaijan Highway State Agency Chairman Saleh Mammadov informed the presidents about the project and the work carried out so far.
Zangazur corridor to get launched by 2023
Highlighting the importance of the new highway as a part of the Zangazur corridor, Mammadov said that 45 percent of the work in the short tunnels had been completed and the road is planned to be launched by 2023.
Addressing the Azerbaijani and Turkish leaders, Mammadov said that "you will probably participate in the opening of this road in 2023".
“The road the construction of which will begin today is the Zangazur corridor. It will start from where we are standing. This is the first junction. The distance from here to Aghband, to the Armenian border, is 123.6 kilometers,” Mammadov said.
He said that the 81-km Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha road will have four to six lanes. The 51-km section of the road from the starting point to the 50th km is constructed by Azerbaijani companies, and the section from the 50th to the 81st km is operated by Turkish companies Kolin and Cingiz Insaat.
Mammadov added that the total length of the tunnels will be 6,500 m and a 6-km long tunnel will be built by the Turkish companies. He noted that two 431 and 530 meter-long tunnels have already been built at the entrance to Shusha.
He underlined that there are three more tunnels on the road with a total length of 3,610 meters. The fourth tunnel is being built by Kalyon in Zangilan, of which 160-meter-part has been completed.
The official added that the 20-km section of the road to the airport is being jointly built by Azerbaijani and Turkish companies.
Mammadov noted that seven junctions connecting district centers with the airport will be built on the road and one of the junctions will be at the zero kilometer point.
Moreover, the six-to-four-lane Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli main road will start from this junction, he noted. The road will have several feeder roads and stretch to Nakhchivan through the Zangazur corridor and from there to Istanbul, Mammadov stressed.
Mammadov commented on the tunnels in Kalbajar and said that the longest Murovdagh tunnel (11,600 m) in Azerbaijan is being built by Cingiz Insaat on the Toganali-Kalbajar road.
He noted that a 3.5-km Lachin-Kalbajar tunnel is under construction.
He added that the Turkish companies are building a total of 62 km of tunnels in the Karabakh region, where 6,587 people have been employed. Some 1,832 of the employees are Turkish citizens and 4,500 are Azerbaijanis. Overall, 13,280 people work in companies operating in the Karabakh region, Mammadov stressed.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz