Sunday, 23 February, 2020

Iran set to open first section of Tehran-Shomal Freeway in February

Iranian authorities say a first section of a major road project meant to ease traffic between the capital Tehran and northern parts of the country is set to open next month.

Iranian vice president for budgeting affairs said on Tuesday that the 32-kilometer section of the Tehran-Shomal Freeway will be ready for use when the country marks the anniversary of the Islamic revolution of 1979 in early February.

Mohammad Bagher Nobakht said that the project had cost more than 100 trillion rials, or nearly $1 billion, adding that it would shorten travel time from Tehran to Chalus, a resort city located on the Caspian Sea, by at least 30 minutes.

He said the road was a manifestation of Iran’s determination to beef up infrastructure even at a time the country is facing some of the harshest sanctions ever imposed by foreigners.

Finishing the ambitious Tehran-Shomal Freeway became a major challenge for the current Iranian administrative government after companies from China and South Korea withdrew from the project due to the American sanctions and other financial issues.

A consortium of seven Iranian companies led by the Mostazafan Foundation has built the first section of the freeway which includes some of the longest road tunnels in Iran.

A final section of the road, a short drive between Marzanabad and Chalus, was finished in March 2013. The current government has promised it would spend some $150 million to open another 22 kilometers of the road next year.

No timetable has been announced yet for the construction of the third and longest section of the road which would span 47 kilometers from Pol-e Zanguleh to Marzanabad.

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