Tbilisi: The Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia, together with the First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maia Tskitishvili, State Representative in the Imereti Region Zviad Shalamberidze and Majoritarian Paata Kvizhinadze got acquainted with the construction works of the Rikoti Pass Road.
The construction of a parallel tunnel to the existing Rikoti tunnel has already started on the Rikoti Pass, which will be the longest tunnel in Georgia - 1,800 meters - until the completion of the Kvesheti-Kobi tunnel. 190 m has already been cut.
As Irakli Karseladze, Head of the Roads Department, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, noted, in total, 6 tunnels have already been cut on the Rikoti Pass Road, including the longest - 885 m. Construction work is underway on 53 to 39 tunnels and 96 to 61 bridges.
Giorgi Gakharia stressed that Rikoti now has the most important stage for the further development of this expressway.
"This tunnel will be approximately parallel to the well-known Rikoti tunnel and will be 1800 meters. It will be completed in the second half of 2022, the first phase of this Rikoti section will be completed and will be the largest tunnel, Sana Kvesheti-Kobi will be completed. Kvesheti-Kobi, as you know, will be more than 9 kilometers. For a single day, work on infrastructure projects, even in the face of a pandemic, in the face of the global economic crisis, has not stopped and will not stop. Here, for example, at this stage, only in this section, a total of 2,700 people are employed, of which 2,000 are Georgian citizens. This is especially important for us today, in the context of the global economic crisis, the maintenance of each job, and in no case, not a single infrastructure project will stop. We often talk - the economy is stagnant, the economy is not stagnant. "Unfortunately, some sectors of the economy are stagnant and this is happening under duress, because we are also part of the global economy," - said the head of government.
In 2020, a total of 31,000 Georgian citizens were employed on infrastructure projects.
The construction of the Rikoti Pass Road will be completed in 2022, and the Shorapani-Argveta section in 2023.
Construction work did not stop despite the pandemic, but due to COVID-19, the arrival of specialists from China was postponed and the start of mobilization work on the last section was postponed.
Despite the pandemic, this year, only one ministry invested 2.2 billion GEL in infrastructure projects.
Highway funding will increase by 37% by 2021, and overall, $ 20 billion is planned to be invested in the country’s infrastructure over 4 years.