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On 19 November 2014, Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, and Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Georgia, Davit Shavliashvili, opened 32 km of the Kutaisi bypass highway. According to the Prime Minister, a total of 55 km of the highway was constructed during the two years of the Georgian Dream coalition government whilst the previous government managed to construct only 70 km in eight years.

FactCheck

took interest in the Prime Minister’s statement and verified its accuracy.

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about the construction of the highway in 2014 as well. The construction of the high-speed highway (Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze) started in 2006. It consists of the E-60 (Poti-Tbilisi-Red Bridge) and E-70 (Poti-Batumi-Sarpi) highways. The length of the high-speed highway is approximately 390 km. As of 17 December 2014, a total of 127.7 km of the high-speed highway has been paved and traffic is open on 101 km.

According to the information received from the Roads Department of Georgia, a total of 57.6 km of highway has been constructed since 1 October 2012, 18 km of which was constructed after 1 October 2014. According to the same information, a total of 70 km of highway was paved from 2006 to 2012. According to the six-month report of the Roads Department of Georgia, the construction work was on-going on 131 km of highway in the first six months of 2014. According to the same report, the construction work is planned to be expanded on 140 km of highway by the end of 2014 whilst a total of 32.2 km on different parts of the highway was to be opened in 2014.

According to the information of the Roads Department of Georgia, the construction work has been on-going on seven different parts of the highway since 2013.

The construction of the Ruisi-Agara part of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze highway started on 17 December 2012. The construction of 11 km of highway was planned. A total of 5 km is open to traffic as of today and three additional parts will be open by the end of 2014.

The improvement of the Kutaisi new bypass highway of the Zestaponi-Kutaisi-Samtredia part of the east-west highway started on 25 November 2011 and was finished on 19 November 2014. A total of 16 km is now open to traffic. The reconstruction process of the Kutaisi new bypass highway of the Zestaponi-Kutaisi-Samtredia part of the east-west highway started in July 2013. The construction work was finished on 15 km of road and this part of the highway has already been opened.

The construction work of the Chakvi-Makhinjauri highway of the Kobuleti bypass road started on 1 January 2011 and was finished in October 2013. A total of 13.4 km is open to traffic as of today.

It should be noted that according to the information of the Roads Department of Georgia, the money necessary for the construction of all of the aforementioned parts of the highway was allocated before 1 October 2012. Specifically, the funding of the Kobuleti bypass road started in 2010, the funding of the construction and modernisation of the Zestaponi-Kutaisi-Samtredia part of the east-west highway started in 2011 and the funding of the construction and the modernisation work of the Ruisi-Agara part of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze highway started in 2012.

The funding of the construction and the modernisation work of the Samtredia-Grigoleti highway (50 km) and the Agara-Upper Osiauri part of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze highway started in 2013 and 2014. However, the letter from the Roads Department of Georgia does not specify the current stages of the construction work.

The construction work of the parts of the east-west highway which are finished as of today started before 1 October 2012. This is confirmed by the list sent to us by the Roads Department of Georgia.

Conclusion

A total of 57.6 km of highway has been constructed since 1 October 2012. About 140 km of highway was under construction in 2014. According to the information of the Roads Department of Georgia, a total of 35 km of highway was open to traffic as of 18 December 2014 whilst an additional 3 km will be opened by the end of the year.

About 55 km of highway has indeed been paved since the Georgian Dream coalition assumed office; however, the context of Mr Gharibashvili’s statement is not entirely accurate as the construction of the highway started in 2006. Hence, 70 km of highway was paved in six years of the United National Movement’s office and not in eight years as stated by the Prime Minister. In addition, the construction of the parts of the highway, which are open today, including the 32 km Kutaisi bypass road, were planned and started before 1 October 2012. It should also be noted that only two lanes (and not four) of the Kutaisi bypass road are now open. Also, as pointed out earlier, the money necessary for the construction of most of the parts of the highway (except the construction and the modernisation work of the Samtredia-Grigoleti highway and the Agara-Upper Osiauri part of the Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze highway) that are finished today was allocated well before 1 October 2012.

Hence, FactCheck concludes that the Prime Minister’s statement is HALF TRUE.