E-60 highway (together with the E-70 highway) passing through Georgia connects West and East parts of the country (Batumi-Poti -Tbilisi-Red bridge) and in international road network represents a corridor connecting Europe and Asia.
The growth rate of international transit transportation and traffic turnover of Georgian Black Sea ports, with taking into account the country’s transit perspectives, and the issue of modernization and construction of E-60 highway are main priorities for the state government in terms of socio-economic development.
As a result of economic and administrative activities carried out by the Georgian government, the shortest route connecting the Europe and Asia and passing through Georgia (E-60) became far more attractive place for international transportation companies. During this period, modernization of E-60 highway to the four-lane high-speed highway increases the competitiveness of country’s transit network compared to other alternatives of transit routes. After the complete modernization of highway, the intensity of goods turnover will be increased, which is the precondition for the growth of state budget and economy.
Due to mentioned factors, in 2006 the one of the most important project started in the history of road constructions in Georgia – modernization and construction of E-60 highway to the high-speed highway. Construction of E-60 highway is mainly being implemented by a new technology of cement concrete pavement. Production used in construction works mainly comes from the local manufacturing, which promotes the country’s economic development.
Silk Road was the major Transcaucasian trade-caravan route connecting China to Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. Trade on this route started from 2nd Century BC. Silk was the main trade item and high quality silk was exported from China in Rome, Byzantine by facilitation of the major countries of the Middle East. Silk Road promoted development of economic and cultural relations between the East and West countries. “Silk Road” itself did not imply only silk trading, but its name derived from the lucrative Chinese silk trade. Exactly this road was used to deliver luxury goods, spread some cultural plants, and disseminate religious and philosophical doctrines in China.
Arabian caliphate controlled trading of goods on this road in VII-IX centuries. Then Mongols took monopoly. Silk Road lost importance in late XVII century, when Europeans eventually acquired ocean route through Africa. As you know, Mtskheta was capital of Georgia after 4th century BC. Trade was very important by then. Greek culture was merged with the extremely developed culture of Iran. Silk Road was an essential road. Different goods, jewelry, piece of art, culture expressed in different forms were delivered through this road. Besides trade and exchange of goods, it served also as a military road. So, existence of the Silk Road had a particular importance for merging two major cultures of East and West.
The main priorities, on the basis of which construction of particular state and social sites is being implemented, are substantial for the development of Georgian roads. These priorities are: sharp increase of transit traffic potential, which is possible through the modernizing of E-60 and E-70 corridors to the four-lane highways. The development of traffic turnover and economic and trade relations in the region generates an increasing demand for transit goods from Black Sea ports (Batumi, Poti, Anaklia in the future) to the neighboring countries as well as towards the Central Asia and China. The alternatives for mentioned corridors are E-40 and E-50 corridors that pass through the territories of Ukraine-Russia-Kazakhstan and E-80 corridor which goes through the territories of Greece-Turkey-Iran. In this era, which is characterized by emerging of new transit corridors in Europe and Asia, Georgian state also faces with the particular challenges and they require to react promptly. In particular, in Georgia it is necessary to be an attractive road infrastructure for transit traffic by 2020.
Based on reality, this includes seaports, high-speed highways and complex and uninterrupted functioning of railway. Furthermore, it is also important that Georgia will benefit from the number of positive results after the completion of important state and social construction sites. In particular, the traffic intensity will increase drastically; the traffic safety standards will improve significantly; the traffic capacity will increase and traffic rate will double, which will reduce the travel time also; in comparison with the northern and southern corridors the competitiveness of E-60 and E-70 transit corridors will increase; the capacity for traffic turnover of Black Sea ports, traffic routs of which come from the Europe to the Central Asia and China and on the contrary, will increase drastically. Based on information mentioned above, it becomes clear how important is the smooth construction of particular state and social sites for the country and society in terms of economic development.