Project Newsletter Issue 4 (June 2022) - My WordPress Website

ISSUE 4 | June 2022

Welcome to the Kvesheti-Kobi Road Project Newsletter! Compiled quarterly, it aims to keep stakeholders informed about the latest project news and resources. The newsletter is available in both Georgian and English languages and is produced by the Roads Department of Georgia. For information on the project, please watch this video or read the fact sheet or the frequently asked questions.


The cultural and historical support plan of the Khada Gorge was developed

The company “Geographic” developed the cultural and historical support plan for the Khada Gorge, which was based on the cultural heritage assessment reports drafted within the framework of the project and the data of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia (NACHP).

Initially, an adapted model of the project of the historical and cultural plan was developed, and a preliminary mock-up of the final results made. The plan, in turn, addresses challenges identified in the environmental impact assessment, which will reduce the potential for negative impacts and adverse events after the completion of the road construction.

The company to implement the Khada Gorge cultural and historical support plan was selected by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in September 2021, when the company “Geographic” was decided on. “Geographic” is a local consulting company that works in various areas, including urban development, cultural heritage, architecture, transport, infrastructure, environmental protection, and natural resource management. The company has been working in the area of urban planning and cultural heritage research in Georgia since 2002.

It was with the involvement of “Geographic” and international experts of cultural heritage that a detailed assessment of the territory was carried out, followed by the development of special recommendations to reduce the negative impact of road construction. It should be noted that while developing the support plan, a number of field-inventory works were carried out. More specifically, the research area included 15 villages and 10 settlements with 1130 research objects.

As a result of working on the plan, historical landscape, archeological, historical development protection zones and development regulation zone were determined. In the long run, sectoral and complex recommendations were developed, which were reflected in the final document.

The cultural and historical support plan also contains general recommendations on additional auxiliary agricultural temporary buildings, construction and paving materials, new buildings on the foundations of settlements, construction of engineering infrastructure, and archaeological works.

It should be noted that each stage of the development of the support plan was carried out at the background of consultations with the interested parties.

To see the presentation of the cultural and historical support plan for the Khada Gorge, please visit the public information section of the project website 


Public consultations on the access road to Gudauri

The Kvesheti-Kobi new road project team from the Roads Department of Georgia met with local residents. The main topic of the public consultation was the access road project to Gudauri within the framework of the project. Representatives of the Roads Department of Georgia provided detailed information on the planned activities to the interested parties, especially to those who are affected by the project through the measures envisaged in the land acquisition and resettlement plan.

Pre-construction procedures and construction safety issues were explained in detail to the participants of the meeting. Also, they talked about environmental impact, mitigating measures and cultural heritage preservation.

After the presentation, the meeting continued in a question-answer mode. The representatives of the Roads Department of Georgia comprehensively answered all the questions of the participants of the meeting. Questions were mostly related to road improvement, cultural heritage, settlement issues and safety of the construction process.

Within the framework of the project, a 5-km access road to Gudauri and a tourist center will be constructed, which will make movement more comfortable and safer, simplify visiting the resort, use of the resort infrastructure, and contribute to the socio-economic development of other villages.

Within the framework of the new road project of Kvesheti-Kobi, an educational environmental project was implemented in the school of Kvesheti

An educational and environment protection project was implemented in the Kvesheti school, within the framework of the new Kvesheti-Kobi road project. Within the framework of the project, several meetings were held with schoolchildren and management, with the involvement of the environmental organization “Ecovision”.

Along with the speakers of “Ecovision”, Imeda Dvalidze, the spokesperson of the new road project of Kvesheti-Kobi met with the pupils and teachers of the school and provided detailed information about the project.

“The importance of the Kvesheti-Kobi new road project, without exaggeration, is very high for the country and the region. In this project, among other things, the environmental direction is one of the priorities. Therefore, it is obvious that activities in this direction were carried out within the framework of the project, in cooperation with “Ecovision”. At the meeting we provided information to the children about the new road from Kvesheti-Kobi. Such meetings help raise their awareness, give rise to additional interests and desire to be active. That is why such educational projects are very important,” said the project’s spokesperson, Imeda Dvalidze.

“Most of the pupils of the public school of Kvesheti were involved in this project. Drawing contests, excursions and trainings were held. In addition, an eco-club was established in the school, and about 30 children joined it. They are very active and have planned many events inside the school. Such informative and educational projects are important and necessary for providing accurate information to the population about current projects and planned novelties,” says Gegi Sophadze, executive director of “Ecovision”.

The main goal of the educational environmental project is to provide accurate information to the population of the Khada Gorge and raise awareness on infrastructural and environmental issues. In total, within the framework of the project, 5 lectures were delivered to the upper-formers of the Kvesheti school.

Within the framework of the educational project, an eco-club was established in the school of Kvesheti, whose members will participate in various activities – trainings, workshops, competitions, etc.

At the end of the project, a closing event was held in the open air in the public school of Kvesheti – exhibition of paintings, presentation of resources developed within the project and evaluation of the project.

Teachers of the public school of Kvesheti about the establishment of the Ecoclub and significance of activities.

Marina Karumidze – director of Kvesheti school

Pupils of our school, who are actively involved in the activities of the Ecoclub, work on all projects with great enthusiasm and interest. It is obvious, that their motivation has increased. I think it is very important for a child to start thinking and talking about environmental issues from a young age. If they do not learn from this age, adults will not be able to understand the problems. The  Ecoclub aroused their interest, they received experience in different areas, they even clean our yard themselves. They already understand well that if we don’t protect the environment, the harm we do to nature will surely come back to us.

Jenny Buchukuri – head of the Ecoclub, teacher of chemistry and biology of the school of Kvesheti

With the Ecoclub children got involved into activities outside of school and this is the most important thing for their experience. Functions were redistributed, a president was elected who is enthusiastic about the work and has learned a lot. They take part in managing groups, planning events.

We have established subsections in the Ecoclub for waste management, environmental protection, climate change and other directions. These groups have their own leaders and functions are also distributed. We have a work plan that the children follow. In addition, they are actively involved in informational meetings and interesting activities that are planned within the Ecoclub.

We announced a competition on the topic of what Khada will look like when the new road project of Kvesheti-Kobi is completed. At first, we planned an exhibition of personal drawings, however, the children themselves thought that each class should present a model on behalf of the class. This demonstrates their interest and desire to work actively.

We also had a field lesson, we saw part of the construction process, and it happened so, that at that time they were conducting archeological excavations to record and protect cultural heritage objects. So, they observed this interesting process as well.

Residents of Khada Gorge received a free medical check-up

With the support and organization of the Kvesheti-Kobi new road project, within the framework of the local population support and social protection program, the residents of the Khada Gorge received a free medical preventive check-up.

On June 9, doctors of various profiles from the “Remedical” clinic visited the Khada Gorge and throughout the day consulted patients at the outpatient center of Kvesheti. Free consultations were provided by doctors of the following profiles: triage doctor, therapist, cardiologist, endocrinologist, neurologist, general surgeon, vascular surgeon, sonographer.

The ambulatory center of Kvesheti was also supplied with various medicines, which were distributed among the locals as needed.

“Free examination of the population of the regions of Georgia with the slogan – “Let’s take care of health together!” – is regularly performed by the clinic “Remedical”. Getting to know their medical needs and providing maximum assistance on the spot is important for all members of our medical team,” says Thea Gamezardashvili, M.D., Clinical Manager of “Remedical” clinic.

In total, more than 70 beneficiaries took part in the promotion. Beneficiaries were identified through preliminary research conducted by “Youth Center for Regional Development” in the Khada Gorge.

“We are conducting free medical consultation/check-up for the population of the Khada Gorge within the framework of the new road project of Kvesheti-Kobi for the second time. It is important to provide such services to the local population, because due to the lack of roads, most of the inhabitants of the Khada Gorge do not have access to social services, including, for example, medical services. The new Kvesheti-Kobi road, along with many other problems, will completely solve this issue. Until then, while the project is in progress, we will try to help people living here with similar promotions,” said Salome Tsurtsumia, deputy chairman of the Roads Department of Georgia.

The mentioned promotion is part of the pensioners’ support program, which was implemented with the direct involvement of the Department of Relations with the Regions of the Government of Georgia.

Public consultations with local residents

On June 9, within the framework of the Kvesheti-Kobi road project, representatives of the Roads Department, donor organizations and the contractor company met with the residents of Benian-begoni and Zakatkari villages. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss social issues arising during the project. The event was attended by people directly affected by the project.

At the public discussion, attention was mostly focused on such issues as pre-construction survey of houses in the village, damage to privately owned plots of land, noise and dust caused by the works, rehabilitation of the drinking water system, ongoing registration process in the public register, etc.

The participants of the meeting put questions to representatives of the Roads Department, donor organizations and the contractor company, to which they received comprehensive answers, and together with them they discussed ways to solve the problems.

Pupils of the public school of Kvesheti were trained on the safety issues

On June 10, within the framework of the Kvesheti-Kobi road project, the representatives of the Roads Department, the engineer and the contractor company conducted safety training for the pupils of the Kvesheti public school. The pupils of the mentioned school are mainly children living in the villages affected by the project.

With the approach of summer, construction works have moved into an active phase, and after classes, children have more free time. Of course, they will show more interest in the ongoing construction and there are risks of them entering the construction site and causing damage. To eliminate the mentioned risks, the contractor company has taken appropriate measures. The purpose of the meeting with the school children was to raise their awareness regarding the existing construction hazards and to familiarize them with these measures.

A presentation appropriate to their age was specially designed for children, which included:

– Description of hazards related to the construction site and recommendations for avoiding these hazards.

– Meaning and distinguishing safety signs by color.

– Traffic safety recommendations.

After the training, students were asked questions about the presented material. The authors of the correct answer were given helmets and reflective vests.


Preliminary vision of the Khada Gorge development was published Interview with Kamel Bouhmad (Deputy Mission Director of the Asian Development Bank)

What is the main objective of the development plan?

The main objective of the plan is to create a livable environment in the gorge based on the history and culture of the gorge and to preserve the core values. The development plan has been elaborated on the basis of the historical and cultural plan and is based on its main requirements. This document will be focused on bringing benefits to the local population. A preliminary vision of the development plan has been developed and it can be viewed by everyone.


What aspects does the preliminary vision of the development plan include?

The plan deals with three main aspects – the first is focused on the need for the development of the population and their healthy living environment through the development of engineering, transport and social infrastructure and the emergence of economic activities.

The second direction involves preservation of existing cultural heritage and buildings and authentic structures in villages, protection and restoration of cultural heritage sites, as well as preservation and transfer of intangible cultural heritage.

The third direction refers to landscape care, which implies sustainable use of natural resources, preservation of existing flora and fauna, and reduction of the negative impact of the road. One of the important initiatives is the establishment of the Khada Gorge Development Center.


What is the Khada Gorge Development Center and how will the local population benefit from it?

The function of the development center will be to take care of the development of entrepreneurship, tourism services and real estate. The center will help small entrepreneurs develop business plans, find financing and markets for service or product sales.

The center will help them in the development of tourist services, which means attracting tour operators, quality control of tourist services and training population in this direction.

Another function of the center will be to take care of the creation of new real estate and help residents in the development of business plans, assistance in fund-raising and drafting project documentation.


Who is involved in drafting the development plan?

The architecture and urban design company “Bau Design” worked on the development plan of the Khada Gorge. “Bau Design” won the tender announced in 2021. The company has 10 years of experience in urban planning in Georgia and has been involved in drafting numerous development plans throughout the country. They developed the preliminary vision of the Khada Gorge development.

International urban planning specialists and landscape architects are involved in the project team, along with local experts. And most importantly, the development plan has been elaborated in close cooperation with the population and stakeholders.

International urban planning specialists and landscape architects are involved in the project team along with local experts. And most importantly, the development plan has been elaborated in close cooperation with the population and stakeholders.


What are the stages of drafting the development plan and when will the final document be ready?

At this stage, a team of consultants is drafting an interim report. The final document should be ready in the second quarter of 2023.

Work progress

Update on the first lot (Tskere-Kobi section)

The construction works of the longest, 9 km tunnel of the Kvesheti-Kobi road are actively underway. At the moment, 2,242 meters of the main tunnel have been drilled with a TBM specially designed for the project. The machine, in parallel with drilling, also carries out finishing works. Simultaneously to the main tunnel, an evacuation tunnel is being built, 3,300 meters of which have been drilled.

Update on the second lot (Kvesheti-Tskere section)

Construction works are underway on the 2nd lot, on the Kveshsheti-Tskere section. In particular, the arrangement of piles and piers is underway on N2 bridge, drilling and blasting works are underway in N1 and N3 tunnels, excavation works are underway on the third bridge, and the work of one pipe bridge near the Aragvi River has been completed.

Temporary access roads have also been arranged. Retaining wall construction works are being completed on different sections of the project road.

Employment opportunities

Within the framework of the project, the creation of various jobs for the local population continues. Priority is given to those inhabitants who live in the areas directly affected by the project.

At the moment, a total of 400 Georgian citizens are employed on both lots, 200 of whom live in the immediate vicinity of the project.

Information about vacancies is provided to locals through periodical meetings and distribution of announcements among the population. In addition, the mentioned information is disseminated on the project’s official Facebook page and website.


In the village of Tskere, works will be carried out to improve the sewage system

Within the framework of the Kvesheti-Kobi new road project, in parallel with the construction of the road, various improvement works are carried out in the villages of the gorge.

During the construction process, the sewage system will be repaired in the village of Tskere. The village did not have a proper sewage system. The wastewater of the village, together with the drainage water, flowed directly into the river Khadastskali through a channel passing through the middle part.

According to the environmental and social standards of the project, proper management and disposal of wastewater was necessary. Accordingly, the contractor company will transfer waste and drainage water into a corrugated pipe and connect it to the septic tank built at the end of the village. In addition to the septic tank, 2 sewage wells will also be arranged, which will provide filtration and purification of wastewater.

In addition, the population of Tskere requested the Roads Department to help separate sewage and drainage water and to arrange the central drainage channel of the village. The work on the mentioned issue has started and the detailed project is prepared. The project will be publicly discussed and agreed upon with the villagers. After the completion of the works, the area will be restored and its reclamation will take place.

Arrangement of drinking water system and construction of the main water receiving facility in the village Benian-begoni

During the construction of the new road from Kvesheti-Kobi, the local road of Benian-begoni village is used to reach the southern portal of one of the tunnels. As a result of movement of the equipment on the road, the water pipes of the village were damaged. The contractor decided to install new, larger diameter water pipes, which will improve the quality of water supply. In total, 2 km long 110 mm diameter water pipe and up to 20 branches will be arranged. According to the agreement, the population will provide the connection to the branches themselves.

In addition, the contractor company will build drinking water receiving facility on top of the village of Tskere. The construction of a 60-ton iron-concrete water tank will begin in October. The mentioned building will serve villages Tskere and Benian-begoni. With the consent of the population, the contractor’s construction camp will also use the mentioned water.

Arrangement of water system in the village of Bedoni

During the construction of the new road from Kvesheti-Kobi, as a result of the movement of heavy equipment, the water pipes were damaged and caused a water supply problem in the village of Bedoni. That is why the water supply system will be rehabilitated and improved.

Within the framework of the project, 7 km long 76 mm diameter water pipes and two water receiving facilities will be arranged: 3.5 ton – in the estuary, and 100 ton near village Bedoni.

In addition to the above, the local municipality made a decision to finance the internal laying of water pipes in village Bedoni.

Additional Resources