DUSHANBE, March 11, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- The Innovative Road Solutions (IRS) company that operates the toll highway from Dushanbe to Chanak linking Tajikistan’s capital with Uzbekistan through the northern province of Sughd has applied for participation in a tender for the contract to upgrade the Dushanbe-Tursunzoda-Uzbekistan border highway.

The IRS representatives say the company has enough experience in road building and the necessary construction equipment.

As it had been reported earlier, the tender will take place on March 16 and 36 companies from Tajikistan, China, Turkey, Italy, Korea, Kazakhstan and some other countries have applied for participation in the tender.  The implementation of the project is expected to start in the second quarter of this year.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provides a $120 million grant to help Tajikistan upgrade a vital road linking the capital Dushanbe with the Uzbekistan border.  The 62-kilometer highway passes through the Hissar Valley and the town of Tursunzoda - two major economic areas in Tajikistan.

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.

The grant is sourced from the Asian Development Fund and the project is expected to be finished until January 30, 2015.  The stretch 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 Uzbekistan border will be a two-lane highway, 15 meters in width.

According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Tajik government’s contribution to the project is 34.3 million U.S. dollars.