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Kyrgyzstan starts construction of alternative North-South road

BISHKEK (TCA) - Construction of Phase 1 of alternative North-South motor road has begun in Kyrgyzstan, the press service of the country's Transport and Communications Ministry said on Monday.

"Construction of Phase 1 of alternative North-South road has begun in Aral and Kyzyl Jyldyz villages of Jumgal district in the Naryn province. Preparation has begun for building the Kyzyl Jyldyz-Aral section of the road (from the 183rd to 195th kilometer of the road)," the ministry said. 

The alternative road will connect the North and South of Kyrgyzstan in addition to existing Bishkek-Osh road. The 433-kilometer alternative road will be built in three phases.      

Phase 1 (154 km) will connect the villages of Kyzyl Jyldyz and Aral, and the village of Kazarman and the city of Jalal-Abad in the south. The cost of Phase 1 is $400 million. 

Phase 2 (96 km) will connect Aral and Kazarman, and will build a 700-meter tunnel. The cost of Phase 2 is $284 million. 
Phase 3 (183 km) will connect the city of Balykchi at Lake Issyk-Kul and Kyzyl Jyldyz village. The cost of Phase 3 is $166 million. 

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is the general contractor of the project. 

In September 2013, at the meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Export-Import Bank of China signed the $400 million loan agreement on Alternative North-South Road Project in Kyrgyzstan with the Kyrgyz Finance Ministry. 

The Alternative North-South Road Project is a project CRBC contracted in Kyrgyzstan with the largest contract amount and the largest project quantity, the Chinese company said. It is 154 km in length, including a 3,700 meter tunnel; and the time limit for this project is 56 months. 

The construction of this Alternative Road will greatly improve the transport capacity of China exporting goods and materials to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and other surrounding countries and even Europe through the land access in Kyrgyzstan, and have a great and profound significance to further promote the trade contacts between China and Kyrgyzstan and drive the rapid growth of regional economy.