Trans-Hindukush Road Connectivity Project

The Trans-Hindukush Road Connectivity Project seeks to improve road transport connectivity across the Hindukush mountain range. There are two components to the project: the first is road construction and rehabilitation and includes: (i) civil works for the construction of the Baghlan to Bamiyan (B2B) road and the rehabilitation of the Salang road and tunnel, (ii) consulting services, including for the supervision of civil works and for regular technical audits by an independent international auditor to verify that road works have been executed in compliance with the technical specifications, and (iii) goods, which will include a small number of equipment items which the Ministry of Public Works may need to keep the two roads open during the project period. The second component is the institutional support and project management component and is comprised of several subcomponents: definition and implementation of asset management arrangements for the trans-Hindukush roads, road safety, community engagement, training, capacity building and institutional development, and project management support. Construction of the B2B road and rehabilitation of Salang tunnel and road will require the use of thousands of unskilled laborers and will generate millions of additional labor days.

Current Status

On 20 October 2015, the Trans-Hindukush Road Connectivity Project was approved by the World Bank Board of Governors (with a planned mid-term review date of 30 November 2017 and closing date of 22 December 2022). The project became effective on 17 January 2016.  The Project Management Team (PMT) of the Ministry of Public Works, with the supported of the international community, is working on the procurement process for several types of contracts, such as (i) civil works for the construction of the B2B road, (ii) consultant services for the Implementation Consultant, Assessment of Salang Pass and design of rehabilitation works, Works Supervision, Technical and Procurement Audit, Road Safety Audit, etc., and (iii) goods. The preparation of Community Contracts for the site clearance is well advanced. The Government has approved the budget, which includes funding for land acquisition and resettlement. It is estimated that for the project about USD $170 million will be spent on the B2B road, USD $55 million will be spent on the Salang road and tunnel, while the remainder of USD $15 million will be spent on goods and services benefitting both roads, in addition to USD $10 million for institutional support and project management. In addition, the Asian Development Bank has recently committed USD $31 million for the related Salang Corridor Rehabilitation Project. The project represents a central element of the Afghan Government’s National Infrastructure and Connectivity Development National Priority Program.

Recommended Actions by RECCA-VII and Beyond:

  • Ensure adequate resources and properly trained construction management teams and local private contractors are available for the design, building, and maintenance of the B2B road and Salang road and tunnel.
Budget & Funding Status USD $255 million (World Bank) and USD $31 million (ADB)
Institutional Partners Afghanistan (Ministry of Public Works), World Bank, UNOPS, Asian Development Bank