ASTANA – Kazakhstan saw 1,300 kilometres of highways reconstructed in 2015-2016 within the nation’s large-scale Nurly Zhol programme. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the programme in his annual state-of-the-nation address in 2014.
“Movement on Western Europe-Western China transit corridor, Astana-Temirtau, Almaty-Kapshagai, Kapshagai-Balpyk Bi, Beineu-Shetpe and Kokshetau-Petropavlovsk highways was fully opened. The construction of the Central Asia’s longest 12-kilometre bridge crossing in Pavlodar spanning the Irtysh River was finished as well,” said Highways Committee Chair Mereke Pshembayev during the Dec. 25 press briefing.
Pshembayev noted 1,300 kilometre of national highways were renovated as part of the Nurly Zhol programme, a large-scale economic and development project that seeks turning Kazakhstan into a transport and logistics hub of Eurasia through modernisation of transport infrastructure, among other objectives.
Construction works continue on Temirtau-Karaganda, Astana-Pavlodar-Semei-Kalbatau, Beineu-Aktau, Aktobe-Atyrau, Kapshagai-Taldykorgan, Astana-Petropavlovsk and the Uralsk-Kamenka highways, he said.
The committee chair noted Kazakhstan plans to implement 12 more projects involving highways with a total length of more than 3,000 kilometres with leading foreign financial institutes to further boost the nation’s transport potential and economic growth of its regions.
Other plans envisioned by the programme also include the introduction of toll charges along 6,500 kilometres of the renovated highways by 2020, said Pshembayev, with the expected capacity to generate nearly 30 billion tenge (US$90.3 million) annually by 2020.
“In general, based on the results of the work that we have done so far, we plan to improve 90 percent of the national highways and increase the share of roads rated as first and second technical category to 50 percent. It will allow for a two-fold increase in the capacity of high traffic roads and freight traffic and 1.5-fold reduction in the time spent on the road,” he added.