China to build major road in Afghanistan

A Chinese construction firm signed a contract on 8 January to build a key road in central Afghanistan.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has won the $205m contract, funded by the Asian Development Bank, to build a 178-km road, part of a National North-South Corridor connecting northern Marzar-i-Sharif city to Yakawlang.

CRBC’s vice chairman, Lu Shan, signed the deal at a ceremony witnessed by Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports.

Officials said the road would help boost connectivity and economic growth.

The road goes through more than 37 villages to connect Dare-e-Sof district in northern Samangan province to Yakawlang district of the neighbouring central Bamyan province, he said.

Afghan Minister of Public Works Mahmuod Baligh said the project would help local farmers and help the government exploit a coal mine along the route.

The project will take some three and half years to complete in the mountainous region.

The project comprises of building of a seven-meter-road, eight big bridges as well as constructing of 194 small bridges.

Image: US Army helicopter in Samangan Province, Afghanistan, 2010 (US Army/Creative Commons)

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