Quite an important infrastructure project was inaugurated on June 16, 2023. The Big Almaty Ring Road (in Kazakh, Үлкен Алматы айналма автожолы) would play a unique role not only for the city of Almaty, but for the entire region of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Because, this bypass road not only significantly reduces a chronic traffic congestion of the city, but it has been also designed as a crucial link, connecting China with Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan. At the same time, the Big Almaty Ring Road would serve an excellent starting point for heavy traffic between the largest city of Kazakhstan and its central and northern regions.
No wonder that the opening ceremony of the bypass road turned into a festivity, attended by local and foreign VIPs. The Kazakh-Turkish-South Korean consortium, led by Alarko Contracting Group, has completed the $750 million project ahead of schedule. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development supported its construction with the financing package of $585 million. The 66-km long road consists of a 57-km 6-lane section and a 9-km 4-lane section. A Turkish civil engineer Günay Gökalp, involved in the project, gave me a short Russian-language interview.
The civil engineer said that it had been a real challenge to put the bypass road into operation ahead of schedule. He also pointed out the vast potential of road building in Kazakhstan, due to its large territory. The Turkish specialist mentioned long-standing close relations between German and Turkish companies, which have provided his country with German technology and know-how. However, nowadays Turkish business is capable to carry out some large-scale projects on its own.
Finally, it was an enjoy and privilege to be among the first passengers to test-drive the newly-built bypass road. And I thought to myself that such large-scale projects must be accomplished in other regions of our country, especially in the West Kazakhstan, where I personally experienced poor quality of roads. There are also bad roads in the East Kazakhstan, while our roads in the south of the country and its central regions are of more-or-less decent quality.