Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $167.02m loan to rehabilitate and reconstruct roads in Kazakhstan.

The money will be used for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of an 89km-long road stretch between Kandyagash and Aktobe.

This road will strengthen Kazakhstan trade routes, improving the country’s connectivity and road safety.

The current two-lane highway connecting Kandyagash and Aktobe will be upgraded to four-lanes.

It will be equipped with climate-resistant features and gender-sensitive service facilities.

The loan will also be used for the construction of two new bypasses and the reconstruction of all bridges.

As part of the plan, the connectivity between the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors 1 and 6 will be improved.

These two corridors are important trade routes to the European Union and the Russian Federation, two major trade partners of Kazakhstan.

ADB Principal Transport Specialist Jiangbo Ning said: “Kazakhstan has a huge potential to become a major trading and transit hub in Central Asia, but the country’s transport sector, particularly its road network, needs to be upgraded and improved.

“A modern and functioning transport sector will help foster economic growth, enhance a country’s competitiveness, and provide a better quality of life to its people.”

Kazakhstan spends somewhere between $2bn to $4bn on road crash related issues. Its traffic-related deaths average is four times higher than in Western Europe, which averages 21.9 for every 100,000 people.

Approximately just 20% of the country’s roads are in good condition and the road network is deteriorating, which is a significant factor for road crashes.

KazAvtoZhol National Joint Stock Company (KazAvtoZhol), which is responsible for the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of national highways of Kazakhstan, will receive the loan amount.

Earlier this month, ADB signed an agreement to provide a $200m loan to enhance road infrastructure in the Indian state of Maharashtra.