New US$560 million loan to modernize the country’s road network
WASHINGTON, November 3, 2015 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$560 million IBRD loan to finance the Road Sector Development Project in Ukraine. This new financing supports a number of measures to improve road network management, transport connectivity, maintenance operations and road safety for users on the Poltava to Kharkiv main road corridor.
“Ukraine's economic revival depends on the presence of a high quality and efficient transport system,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. “The current crisis is also an opportunity to better align transport infrastructure policies with the freight-intensive needs of the country. The new project will help achieve this goal by supporting implementation of some of the key road sector improvements, which were jointly identified with the Ministry of Infrastructure and UkrAvtodor.”
In particular, as part of the road rehabilitation and safety improvement component, the project will finance repair works to modernize approximately 100 kilometers of the M-03 highway, initially between Poltava and Valky. The road will be upgraded to a category 1 standard which is a four-lane divided highway with high safety specifications including central crash barriers and side crash barriers where required.
Major improvements in the M-03 corridor are expected to benefit ordinary people. As a result, by the time of the project’s completion in 2021, travel time between Poltava and Kharkiv will be reduced from the current 140 minutes to 96 minutes, while the number of traffic accidents (injuries and fatalities) will be expected to fall from 139 to 85 cases a year. Overall, the number of direct road users will go up to 40,000 a day, with about 4.4 million indirect beneficiaries in Poltava and Kharkiv regions.
The loan will also help finance maintenance and improve road safety on approximately 840 kilometers of the country’s core national road corridors, including road infrastructure such as bridges, interchanges and bypasses. Finally, this operation will support legal and institutional reforms necessary to improve the country’s road network management by supporting the preparation of relevant legislation and documents to finance, install, and operate a national system of tolling, weight control for trucks and automatic speed enforcement. It will also support conducting public awareness campaigns and consultations regarding such systems.
The new project is a continuation of the Bank-funded Roads and Safety Improvement Project (RSIP) and Second Roads and Safety Improvement Project (RSIP2). It will continue the improvement of the main road between Kyiv and Kharkiv, strengthening economic and political integration with the east of the country.
This operation is part of the World Bank’s broader financial support package announced in February this year, which aims to provide Ukraine with up to US$2 billion in 2015. With the approval of this project, the World Bank’s Board has approved a total of US$1,775 billion so far this year, including US$1 billion of direct disbursement to the budget to support reforms.
The World Bank Group is a major development partner of Ukraine. With this new roads sector operation and since March 2014, the World Bank Group has provided a total of over US$4 billion in financial support to Ukraine. The Bank’s current portfolio of investment projects are helping improve basic public services that directly benefit people of the country, such as water, sanitation, heating, power, roads, social assistance programs and health services. Since Ukraine joined the World Bank in 1992, the Bank’s commitments to the country have totaled over US$9 billion for 46 projects and programs.