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Safer road travel comes to Kazakhstan

A positive investment by the Kazakhstan government will see the proposed upgrade of one of Kazakhstan's most strategically important roads reach a 4-star standard and prevent an estimated 9,500 fatal and serious injuries over 20 years. 

iRAP was invited by the World Bank to assess the proposed redesign of the 660km long Center-South Road (pictured right) which connects the old capital Almaty with the new capital Astana. The existing 2-star road is a two lane undivided road and in a poor condition, Between 2014-16 an average of one person a week was killed on the road.

‘We identified a number of potential improvements for the new design,’ said iRAP Senior Road Safety Engineer Luke Rogers. ‘It’s a very high speed road (120km/h design speed) with a high proportion of HGVs/commercial vehicles. Although it’s in a remote area with few pedestrians it does go through a number of small settlements and so we’ve suggested changes including street lighting at intersections and areas where pedestrians are likely to be, along with lower and more consistent speed limits through the settlements.’

Work is expected to start on the new road later this year following a sign off from the World Bank and approval from the Kazakhstan government. Total project cost is US$1,766 million of which the World Bank will finance US$750 million. The estimated cost of the additional countermeasures  proposed by iRAP is around US$17.5 million (<1% of project costs) with a benefit cost ratio of US$4 in crash cost savings for every US$1 invested.

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