The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300m loan for the construction of a four-lane, 12km road on the East-West Highway (EWH) between Khevi and Ubisa in Georgia.

EWH is around 410km-long and serves approximately 13,000 vehicles every day.

Enhancing connectivity of international trade between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, the route is vital for Georgia’s global market access and socioeconomic development.

The total cost of the new project is estimated to be $429.5m, which includes a contribution of $129.5m from the Government of Georgia.

An integral part of one of the six key corridors, the EWH links member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC).

“The EWH (Khevi–Ubisa Section) improvement project will also enhance road safety in the area using awareness campaigns to avoid road accidents in Georgia.”

At present, the EWH supports nearly 60% of Georgia’s foreign trade despite representing just 2% of the country’s entire road network length.

ADB Central and West Asia senior transport specialist Valerie Lisack said: “Georgia’s geographic location puts the country at the heart of the trading and logistics activities not only in Central Asia but the rest of Europe and Asia, which opens up a lot of growth opportunities for the economy. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

“ADB’s support will enhance connectivity within the country and the region, increasing economic activity while also improving road safety.”

In addition to building the 12km, four-lane road, the EWH (Khevi–Ubisa Section) improvement project will also enhance road safety in the area using awareness campaigns to avoid road accidents in Georgia, which cost 1% to 2% of gross domestic product.

Additionally, training will be provided to relevant officials and other stakeholders to ensure better operations and maintenance of the road infrastructure.

The project extends support to ADB’s ongoing efforts to help the Government of Georgia achieve its objective of modernising the EWH. It is slated to be concluded by mid-2024.