The Regional Connectivity and Development Project (“RCDP”) is a program financed by the World Bank in Azerbaijan and aiming at improving road connectivity and market accessibility along sections of the Salyan-Bilasuvar corridor, which follows the original alignment of the M3 road. The Project is the first road operation financed by the World Bank to take a regional connectivity and development approach in Azerbaijan, reflecting the Government’s and Bank’s focus on poverty alleviation and the enabling role that transport networks have for local development and economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic period.

In this context, IRD Engineering have recently signed a new contract that aims at the provision of construction supervision services on behalf of the Employer, the Azerbaijan State Agency for Automobile Roads, for all works in the section Alat-Astara-State Border of Iran Highway, between Yenikend and Bilasuvar, from km 32 to km 103, and assuming all the duties and obligations of the Engineer as defined by FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer (Second Edition 2017).

The target road is located in the south-eastern part of Azerbaijan, in a terrain that is predominantly flat and agricultural. It crosses three administrative districts, the rayons of Salyan, Neftchala and Bilasuvar, which form part of the Aran economic region. The road is a section of the original M3 road, which initially served as the main North-South corridor, connecting the capital city of Baku with the southern part of the country and the Iranian border.

The project will rehabilitate a 71 km section to provide a safe road complying with the cross-section requirements of a National Category II road (a two-lane road providing a typical lane width of 7.5m (2 x 3.75m) with two 3.75m shoulders). It is anticipated that construction will take 24 months, followed by a defect notification period of 24 months.

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