WASHINGTON, September 23, 2014 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a loan in the amount of US$70.98 million for the National and Regional Roads Rehabilitation Project in FYR Macedonia. The project aims to enhance the connectivity of selected national and regional roads, primarily to Corridors X and VIII, and to improve the capacity of the Public Enterprise for State Roads for road safety and climate resilience
“As a landlocked country, FYR Macedonia is particularly dependent on a well-developed transport network for its economic and social development,” explains Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Manager for the country. “This project aims to boost the country’s efforts to achieve growth that creates jobs, and to help alleviate poverty and promote shared prosperity in line with the World Bank Group’s twin goals. An enhanced road network would contribute to poverty alleviation by providing better access to the job market and social services for the rural population.
The rehabilitation of national and regional roads will bring better connectivity and safer travel to an area comprising the regions outside of Skopje, home to approximately 1.2 million inhabitants. The project will improve connectivity to public amenities and services, as well as reduce travel time, vehicle operating costs, and road crash risks. As a result, local populations will see improved incomes, and will have greater access to health and education services
The project will also strengthen the capacity of the Public Enterprise for State Roads in delivering more reliable road asset management in the country. This should result in a more effective road preservation strategy and efficient programming of road network operations. Moreover, the project also aims to improve the climate resilience and sustainability of the country’s road network by financing remediation activities on a selected number of landslide locations, and also reinforcing climate adaptation in the design of road works
“The project pays particular attention to road safety, which is a critical issue in the sector. It will pilot initiatives to establish good practices in road design and engineering that incorporate road safety measures,” says Liljana Sekerinska, Senior Transport Specialist in the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region and Task Team Leader of the project. “The project also aims to strengthen road safety management practices across the network by bringing together the Public Enterprise, National Road Safety Council, Ministry of Transport, and other stakeholders to work toward improved management of the country’s capacity for road safety.
The loan of US$70.98 million for the National and Regional Roads Rehabilitation project is issued by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a final maturity of 23 years, including a 6-year grace period. This is the second road transport project that the World Bank is currently financing in the country. The ongoing Regional and Local Roads Program Support Project, to be completed in 2015, is financing the rehabilitation and upgrading of 284km of regional roads and over 400km of local roads, including rehabilitation of landslide-prone sections of selected roads