Infrastructure Ministry presents projects for 2024



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The Albanian Government aims to open two important axes to facilitate tourist circulation before the summer season of 2024.

During a comprehensive analysis by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, the head of the institution, Belinda Balluku, stated that 2024 would be an important year for infrastructure and transportation in all its dimensions, from roads to aviation.

“In 2024, two important moments for road infrastructure will be marked, firstly with the delivery of the Llogara Tunnel, which started back in November 2021 and will be completed as promised at the beginning of the summer season in 2024. The other segment, Thumanë-Kashar, one of the crucial axes of the Blue Corridor, due to the traffic volumes from the cargo that occurs in Fushë Krujë or the Rinas junction, has made us feel the complexity of solving it. It is required to continue as soon as possible and to be delivered before the deadline and before the summer season of 2024,” said Balluku.

“On the other hand, a long ordeal will end in 2024; now it can be guaranteed since on December 26, the excavation in the Arbër Road tunnel was completed. It has remained within the same budget despite delays. In December 2024, it is required that the company complete it. Another national axis that will end in December 2024 is the Great Ring of Tirana, which will be available for all traffic from the southern, northern, and eastern highways.

The early stages of Elbasan Qafë-Thanë will be completed this year. Also, Orikum-Dukat, an axis connected to the Llogara Tunnel, is almost finished, with a few details remaining. Palasë-Dhërmi is almost complete, with some details remaining. On the other hand, the Korçë-Ersekë road is completed. Maliq-Lozhan is progressing well. The Buall-Martanesh Pass will be completed, and the road connecting Vlora Airport to Fier-Vlora will also be completed. In 2024, the part of the commissioning for Vlora Airport will begin, with regular flights starting in 2025,” emphasized the minister.

Another highlighted element during the analysis was the importance of the Traffic Monitoring Center, which is under construction. According to the minister, the addition of axes makes it important to have monitoring teams.

“They will consist not only of the Albanian Road Authority (ARRSH) but also the Emergency and Emergency Unit, the State Police, which will be in full readiness. On the other hand, the traffic monitoring center will perform another role related to the axes that will be placed in the payment system, such as the Llogara Tunnel and the Blue Corridor,” said Balluku.

The expansion of Tirana-Durrës highway

The head of the Albanian Road Authority, Evis Berberi, emphasized in his speech that one of the important axes that will take place in the institution’s investments this year is the Tirana-Durrës highway. According to him, the highway, built in a substantial part before the 2000s, has exceeded the capacity that was initially programmed for 30,000 vehicles, as measurements show three times this volume at peak times.

“Within 2024, we plan to open the first and possibly the second phase of the expansion going from Tirana to Vorë. The first is Tirana-Rinas Turn, and the second is from Rinas Turn to Vorë,” said Berberi.

According to the minister, the expansion of Tirana-Durrës will take an additional lane on each side, plus the emergency lane.

“We clarify that from all the studies we have done, we do not affect secondary roads and businesses, and there will be no massive expropriations. There may be some areas that approach closer to the roadbed. In the future, the use of this axis will be less. Most of Tirana, when accessing Fier, passes through Elbasan in Lekaj or the roundabout in Rrogozhina. Traffic flows will be well regulated as this year the Kashar-Lekaj road is a new axis passing through Arbanë, Ndroq, and Rrogozhina. All the regulation will be done by the Tirana Bypass, which is an approved project, and we have also won the grant. We are coordinating with donors, and the competition starts within this year,” said the minister.

As for the railway network, Balluku emphasized that there are already several projects in various stages.

Airports and ports

Regarding ports, the minister focused on the project in Porto Romano, which she considered a project of regional importance.

“In the first quarter of 2024, we plan to open the competition for Porto Romano. The detailed design is complete, and we have opened a consultation panel with NATO regarding the base we aim to build in the same location”.

Concerning civil aviation and airports, the minister said that continuous investments are being made at Tirana Airport due to the large flow, while the most important development this year will be the completion of the works at Vlora Airport.

“We are waiting for the completion of Vlora, an airport that is 32% of the total works completed, but those parts that are more critical and carry the largest volume have progressed much higher than the overall progress. We aim to have delivered Vlora Airport by December 2024, giving the Aviation Authority, the concessionaire, and the operator, which is Munich Airport, the opportunity to start shadow operations to validate every procedure and navigation equipment, hoping that in the spring of 2025, we will have the first flights from Vlora, which is not a seasonal but an international airport,” said the minister.

As for the south airport, which was initially thought to be in Saranda, it seems to have a review, shifting it to Gjirokastër.

“We had a process for the south airport, and the area has undergone many changes in terms of hotel investments. We had to review the plans in terms of efficiency. Since we have an airfield in Gjirokastër, built infrastructure, and considering that tourism in Albania is not only developing on the coast, the South Airport is intended for the Gjirokastër area and should serve the entire south and Saranda and Ksamil,” emphasized the minister.