The Tirana bypass carries significant strategic dimension, being part of the Adriatic-Ionian Highway, also referred to as the Blue Highway, which will create a seamless route from Trieste in Italy to Kalamata in Greece, while branching out to Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania. In February this year, the Tirana bypass project – identified as investment Flagship 3 ‘Connecting the coastal regions’ in the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, has been endorsed by the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) for priority financing.
The 21 km long bypass will be constructed in the most populated region (with 1/3 of the entire Albania’s population living in it), which is also the backbone of the country’s road network. It will connect the already built Tirana – Durres and Tirana Elbasan motorways. Once in operation, the bypass will channel traffic away from the capital, reduce traffic congestion, pollution and road accidents, as well as facilitate the transit traffic flows to/from the country.
The kick-off meeting was held on 24 May to mark the start of CONNECTA’s sub-project ‘Technical assistance for preparation of update of the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) for Tirana Bypass’. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania, the Albanian Road Authority – ARA, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the CONNECTA team.
The overall objective of CONNECTA’s assignment is to provide the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the information, analysis and recommendations which EBRD needs to comprehensively assess, structure and approve the project – from economic viability perspective.
Reconfirming the project’s economic viability – which entails updating the CBA, is of fundamental importance, given the time elapsed since the preparation of the feasibility study and the CBA in 2013 and the changes/developments that have taken place in the meantime, such as:
- important changes in project cost;
- changes in the travel patterns compared to a decade ago;
- updates of methodologies for the economic assessment of projects by the European Commission, EIB and EBRD; and
- development of the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy for the Western Balkans (2021) which sets as one of the goals at least 90% of all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles to be zero-emission by 2050.
Additional information on the assignment can be obtained by contacting Chris Germanacos, CONNECTA Team Leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org.