Economic growth and sustainable development of Georgia largely depends in efficient use of its potential as a transit country. Since 1990-ies, the function of Georgia, as a part of Europe- Caucasus- Asia transport corridor, has significantly increased. Such international function strengthens the interest of western and eastern states towards Georgia’s – as the country located on transport axes – stable development, which, primarily, implies facilitation of creation of high-quality transit infrastructure.
In the context of realization of transit function, large share of goods transportation falls on road transport. Thus, motor roads represent one of the most significant components of transport infrastructure. Taking into account that the increase of the volumes of goods transportation by road and its sustainability mostly depends on the quality of road infrastructure, reconstruction of roads and, in some cases, construction of new safe sections is one of the priority directions of development of the country.
Provision of service to 6943 km roads falls under the competence of the Department of Roads, including:
- Motor roads of international importance - 1455 km.
- Motor roads of national importance - 5446 km.
- Roads of local importance – 15415 km.
4 –lane high-speed trunk road – 80 km.
Besides, on the territory of Georgia there are:
- Bridges - 4632 (total length 85 km)
- Tunnels - 16 (total length 9,9 km)
- Snow-protection galleries – total length - 3 km.
Trunk road E-60, going through Georgia (together with E-70) connects west-east parts (Batumi- Poti- Tbilisi – Tsiteli Khidi), and represents the corridor, connecting Europe and Asia in the network of international motor roads.
As a result of economic and administrative reforms implemented by the Government of Georgia (liberal tax policy, minimization of corruption, safety measures enforced by patrol police, development of road infrastructure) made the shortest route connecting Europe and Asia, through Georgia (E-60) more attractive for international carrier companies. In such environment, modernization of the main transport artery of the country into 4- lane high-speed line increases its competitiveness in regard to other alternative transit routes. This factor, in perspective, will contribute to the increase of transit goods turnover on the trunk road.
Considering the above mentioned perspective, the most important project in the history of construction of motor roads of Georgia – modernization- construction of E-60 trunk road into high speed line – began in 2006.
Under the World Bank (WB) funding, rehabilitation of the main highways of international importance - E-60 and E-70 – is already in progress. The mentioned highways connect Batumi and Poti ports with Tsiteli Khidi (border with Azerbaijan) and Sarpi (border with Turkey) and, at the same time, perform the function of the corridor, connecting Europe and Asia.
Construction of 80 km section of Tbilisi- Sveneti speed line is completed; currently 65 km section of Sveneti- Rikoti is under construction. Construction of Kutaisi and Zestafoni by-pass road, as well as new road of Kutaisi- Samtredia is planned. After the project implementation the municipal roads going through these cities will be unloaded from transit goods flows. The mentioned section is the component section of E-60 highway, where the main west- east transit movement is performed. After completion of construction the conductance of the road, speed of movement of transport flows and safety of their movement will increase.
Also, with financial support of Asian Development Bank (ADB), foundation was laid for very important project for the country - in particular for Adjara region – construction of Kobuleti and Batumi by-pass road. The motor road will bypass compactly settled cities – Kobuleti and Batumi, go up to the border with Turkey and join Turkish 4-lane high-speed road. The mentioned section is the part of E-70 road. It shall be mentioned that modernization of the highway will be followed by the increase of conductance of the section and speed of goods transport.
Design works for technical- economic justification of Batumi – Akhaltsikhe road are in progress too. After their completion the process of modernization of the road will start. The mentioned road will pass through high- mountain resort zones of Adjara, where the improvement of road parameters will be followed by re-distribution of transit flows to alternative roads.