DUSHANBE, January 28, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Tender for rehabilitation of road linking Dushanbe with the Uzbekistan border via Tursunzoda will be announced in early February, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC).

The source at a MoTC says the project that is expected to be launched in the second quarter of the year will be finished until January 30, 2015.

The New Zealand company, Fraser Thomas Partners, conducted feasibility study for the project.  The feasibility study was finished in December last year.

According to the source, the section of the road from Dushanbe to Tursunzoda will be upgraded into four-lane highway, 25 meters in width, while the section of road from Tursunzoda to the Uzbekistan border will be a two-lane highway, 15 meters in width.

We will recall the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a $120 million grant to help Tajikistan upgrade this road.  A grant agreement was inked in Dushanbe on January 20 by Tajik Finance Minister Safarali Najmiddinov and ADB’s Country Director for Tajikistan Joji Tokeshi.

The road is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 3 that spans almost 7,000 km from the Russian Federation in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south.

The 62-kilometer highway passes through the Hissar Valley and the town of Tursunzoda - two major economic areas in Tajikistan.  Hissar Valley has the largest agricultural output in the country, producing cotton, grain, fruits, and vegetables. Tursunzoda is home to Central Asia''s largest aluminum processing plant as well as light industry.

The grant will finance road upgrading and improvements to drainage structures and bridges.  The grant will also improve facilities at the Dusti border, which handles about 50,000 vehicles per year, or a quarter of Tajikistan''s cross-border vehicles and freight. The project will include connecting the border point to a dependable power source, building modern customs buildings, and installing new information technology, all of which will help increase trade and cut waiting time at the border.