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ADB Approves US $274m loan to upgrade roads in Uzbekistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US $274.2m loan to reconstruct roads in the western part of Uzbekistan and improve safety at key sections of the country’s national road network to expand regional trade and road transport connectivity.

Upgrade works

As part of the project, a 240km section of the Guzar–Bukhara–Nukus–Beyneu highway in Karakalpakstan will be reconstructed as a two-lane, cement concrete road including access roads to link villages to the highway. The road is one of the region’s key trade routes and part of Corridor 2 of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program.

The road will incorporate climate resilient features suited to the arid climate of Karakalpakstan, where temperatures are expected to rise by almost 5ºC by the end of the century. The project will also construct five rest stops with separate sanitary facilities for women and market stalls, 50% of which will be allocated for women entrepreneurs.

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To improve road safety and traffic efficiency, the project will help the Ministry of Transport install an intelligent transport system along a 100-km pilot section of the Tashkent–Namangan road, which has among the heaviest traffic in Uzbekistan. The system will monitor traffic and road conditions in real time, feeding information and warnings to display boards and websites.

Two fully automated weigh-in-motion facilities will be installed at select points of the national road network to avoid overloading of vehicles on the highway network and prevent accelerated pavement deterioration.

According to ADB Senior Transport Specialist Pawan Karki, as a double-landlocked country, Uzbekistan has made regional connectivity the centerpiece of its transport policy. “This project will help to develop the country’s potential as a regional transport and logistics hub between Europe and South and East Asia, promoting economic growth,” he said.

ADB has invested US$1.3bn in road and rail transport infrastructure in Uzbekistan, whose road network is vital to regional connectivity.

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