Verdict:FactCheck concludes that the aforementioned promise WAS NOT FULFILLED.
Resume: In accordance with the Four Point plan of the Government of Georgia, the construction of the east-west high-speed highway should be completed by 2020. However, as stated in the official information of the Government of Georgia, the construction of certain sections of the highway is scheduled to be completed in 2021-2022.
At the present moment, 200 kilometres of the highway still have to be built as a part of the overall construction. To finish the work by 2020, approximately 66.6 kilometres of road have to be built each year whereas only approximately 18 kilometres of road have been built annually since the Georgian Dream’s coming to power. Of importance is that the remaining portions of the high-speed highway are the ones which are the most difficult to build.
FactCheck will continue to monitor the high-speed highway construction process in the future as well and amend this article as required should construction be completed by 2020.
Ahead of the 2016 Parliamentary elections, the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party presented its election programme. The Four Point plan of the Government of Georgia was its integral component. This plan envisioned reforms in the fields of the economy, education and public administration as well as improved spatial planning.
One of the primary components of the spatial plan is the construction of the new east-west highway. In accordance with the Four Point plan, this construction has to be completed before 2020 (2.7 Development of Infrastructure – p. 23).
The construction of the new high-speed highway (Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze) was launched in March 2006. The highway consists of the E-60 (Poti-Tbilisi-Red Bridge) and the E-70 (Poti-Batumi-Sarpi) highways. The total length of the east-west high-speed highway is 390 kilometres.
In accordance with the information of the Roads Department of Georgia, 190 kilometres of the high-speed highway have already been paved and traffic is open on a 167 kilometre-long stretch. Of this stretch, traffic was opened on 68 kilometres of the highway between 2006-2012 and on 99 kilometres between 2013 and today.
Construction work is currently in progress on the following sections of the high-speed highway:
- Zemo Osiauri-Chumateleti section of the E-60 highway (Lot I, II)
- Samtredia-Grigoleti road (Lot II, III, IV)
- Kobuleti bypass road section (Lot II)
Projection work is in progress on the following sections of the high-speed highway:
- Chumateleti-Khevi (F-1) (preparation of detailed highway project documentation)
- Khevi-Ubisa-Shorapani-Argveta (F-2, F-3, F-4) (preparation of detailed highway project documentation)
- Batumi entrance-Sarpi (collection of economic and technical data in support of construction of the highway and preparation of detailed project work)
- Poti-Grigoleti section (preparation of detailed project work)
The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia has published the list of projects which are scheduled to be implemented in 2017-2020.
FactCheck has highlighted these sections of the high-speed highway whose date of completion goes beyond 2020 (see Table 1). These sections include the Chumateleti-Argveta 52 kilometre-long section which includes the Rikoti pass and represents the most difficult section of the highway. The construction of approximately 40 tunnels and nearly 100 bridges is envisioned as a part of the construction of this section alone.
Table 1:Sections of the High-Speed Highway with Scheduled Completion Dates Beyond 2020
|Year||Start of Construction||End of Construction|
|Chumateleti-Khevi (F-1)||November 2018||November 2021|
|Khevi-Ubisa (F-2)||December 2018||December 2021|
|Ubisa-Shorapani (F-3)||December 2018||December 2021|
|Shorapani-Argveta (F-4)||January 2019||December 2022|
Source:Roads Department ofGeorgia
Therefore, in accordance with the official information of the Government of Georgia, the construction of the east-west high-speed highway cannot be completed by 2020.
Of note is that the completion dates for certain sections of the high-speed highway have been amended and prolonged several times (see article).
Since the Georgian Dream’s coming to power, traffic has been opened on 99 kilometres of the high-speed highway. Therefore, traffic was opened on approximately 18 kilometres of the highway each year.
At the present moment, 200 kilometres of the highway still have to be paved as a part of the construction project. In order to have the work completed by 2020, approximately 66.6 kilometres of paving needs to be done (which is 3.7 times more as compared to the previous years). In addition, the fact that the most difficult sections of the high-speed highway are yet to be built must also be taken into consideration.