ASTANA – The Kazakh government plans to build a $1.6 billion beltway around the city of Almaty to reduce traffic in the city limits and decrease air pollution.
The 66-kilometre road will pass through the Karasai, Ili and Talgar regions and includes 38 bridges and overpasses. It will also intersect with international highway transit routes, such as Western Europe – Western China, Tashkent – Shymkent – Taraz – Bishkek – Almaty – Khorgos and Almaty – Karaganda – Astana – Petropavlovsk.
Construction is scheduled to begin this year and open in 2021.
The beltway is expected to accommodate 38,000 cars per day and reduce traffic by 10 percent or 40,000 to 60,000 cars per day, within city limits. The speed limit is expected to be 150 kilometres per hour.
Road users will pay a toll costing 240 tenge (US$0.7) for passenger cars and 330 tenge (US$1) for trucks, according to the Ministry for Investment and Development. Designated vehicles performing official duties and passenger buses will be exempted from the tolls.
Project and maintenance of the beltway will be financed from the national budget but tolls are expected to collect 231 billion tenge (US$716.1 million) over 15.5 years and 570 billion tenge (US$1.77 billion) over 25.5 years, according to the ministry.
The beltway master plan was first adopted in 2002.