The Friendship Bridge, built jointly by Armenia and Georgia, embodies the cooperation and friendship of the two countries, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said during the official opening ceremony of a new automobile bridge across the Debed River on the Georgian-Armenian border.
“The 160-meter four-lane bridge, built according to modern standards and parameters jointly on the territory of the two states, is a unique project in the region. As a result of its commissioning, the capacity at the border will double, the quality of road safety will improve both for citizens and guests of the two countries, and for transit vehicles. This, in turn, will further strengthen trade and economic relations,” Garibashvili said.
He also noted the importance of the bridge as part of the East-West international highway.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyanwho also took part in the ceremony at the head of the Armenian delegation, noted that the Armenian-Georgian trade and economic relations have great potential.
“Georgia, as a transit country, is of great importance for Armenia in terms of energy resources, communications, reliable and secure supply,” Pashinyan said.
According to him, the priority of bilateral cooperation in the transport sector makes it possible to take real steps not only in the Caspian-Black Sea transport corridor, but also in other key initiatives to develop the transport sector.
“As for cargo transportation, for their convenient movement, additional efforts and constant joint work are needed. In this context, I emphasize the importance of rail and ferry transportation”, Pashinyan said.
Armenia and Georgia announced the construction of the Friendship Bridge at the Bagratashen-Sadakhlo checkpoint in 2018. The project has been postponed twice. At first, the start of work was postponed for technical reasons, later they were prevented by the coronavirus pandemic and the martial law in Armenia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided a loan of 7.4 million euros for the construction of the bridge. Yerevan undertook to repay half of the loan, Tbilisi – the other half.
The bridge consists of two separate bridges in both directions, each 11.85 meters wide. On both sides there are pedestrian sidewalks 2.4 meters wide. The project involved international construction and supervisory companies. The construction of the bridge was carried out by the Iranian Tunnel Sadd Ariana, and the supervision was carried out by the Korean firms JV of Soosung Engineering Co. Ltd and Korea Consultants International Co.