Georgian Road Infrastructure – Completed and Protracted Projects
The construction of the most complicated section of the highway is underway. How does road construction work proceed,and why can't the government make a timely usage of the allocated funds?
Why are infrastructure projects protracted? The Road Department Chairman, Irakli Karseladze, talked about these and other issues for the TV Program BusinessPartner .
The Road Department will be a valuable part of the 2019 budget, accounting for 302 million GEL, as the department has been successfully fulfilled over a 6- and 8-month budgets, Irakli Karseladze noted.
Road construction projects are frequently protracted, and the budget plan cannot be fulfilled; however, this year no project was suspended, and the 2019 budget will definitely be fulfilled, Karseladze said.
“We had the biggest budget in 2018. In 2017, the figure made up 873 million GEL. Last year, the actual spending was at 1.204 billion GEL, that is, the department spent 400 million GEL more money. Today, we have better indicators. According to the January-June report, we have recorded 36% growth, compared to the same period in 2018.
As to the January-August report, we have a 50% upturn compared to August 2018”, Karseladze said.
“We should mention that, according to the January-August report, we have spent 565 million GEL on rehabilitating 510 km of roads, twice as much when compared to the same period of 2018, when only 218 km of roads were rehabilitated”Karseladze said.
As for specific projects, locations, and the plans for 2020, Karseladze noted that very important projects are being implemented through the state budget. The issue covers such important projects as the 27-km section of Tianeti-Akhmeta road, as this project will essentially alleviate road traffic between two municipalities. Residents will save time. Important infrastructural projects for the tourism sector will be finished in the Racha region by the end of 2019; namely, the approach road to Nikortsminda, Khvamli Pills in Lechkhumi, as well as the Gordi-Dzedzileti project that will halve the length of the road from Prometheus Cave to Okaste Canyon.
As for the problem of suspended projects, all major projects have various problems, Karseladze noted. For example, the Gurjaani bypass road will be finished by 2020. “In general, in Kakheti, we are implementing results-oriented contract for rehabilitating roads, where a 117 km section has already moved to maintenance. This type of contract is important, because over the past 5 years, including for two years, the same company carries out rehabilitation and periodic repair, and then ensures the maintenance of this network.
This is a good motivation for high-quality rehabilitation work, so less money needs to be spent on maintenance works. We will repeat the same practice in the region of Guria, too. This will foster the development of local companies”, Karseladze noted.
No project was suspended in 2019, and even problematic projects were resumed. As for tenders, 662 million GEL worth were listed as part of the state budget, and the necessary agreements were also signed, Karseladze noted.
“No project has been postponed. Moreover, we have doubled the pace and resumed even suspended projects, including the Samtredia-Grigoleti road. In 2020, a four-lane concrete-asphalt highway will bypass a 14-km section of the Japana-Lanchkhuti road, which is the most densely populated area. The Kutaisi two-lane bypass road will be also finished in 2020, as well as the Khashuri 4-lane concrete bypass highway, which will be 13 km in length”, Karseladze noted.