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Project for the restoration of bridges, Albania requests a debt of 55 million dollars from the World Bank

Project for the restoration of bridges, Albania requests a debt of 55 million

Albania has requested the financing of a project for bridges in the country from the World Bank in conditions where climate change and other natural disasters such as the 2019 earthquake have had a significant effect on these infrastructural works.

A recent document published by the World Bank shows that the evaluation of the project was done on November 15 of this year and that the decision of the Bank's Board is expected in March of next year. The loan in question is calculated at 55 million dollars and the project is known as "Construction of sustainable bridges".

This project consists of three components, the first being bridge infrastructure, the second building institutional capacities and the third project management. The borrower in this case will be the Republic of Albania, while the authority that will implement it is the Albanian Road.

"A number of bridges, about 30, have reached the end of their useful life and are a great danger and require major rehabilitation, improvements or reconstruction from scratch. While only a few of the recently constructed bridges are in fairly good condition, the rest are in extremely poor condition requiring either major upgrades or complete reconstruction.

Their design traffic volumes and/or carrying capacity have been reached, and expansion/doubling and/or structural strengthening is required to accommodate increased traffic volumes and load changes resulting from current and future growth that there is a place," the document says.

The same one calculates the damages caused to the infrastructure by the floods that recur from time to time in the country.

Thus, the damage from the 2002 floods exceeded 23 million dollars, while the 2010 floods in the Drin River resulted in at least 30 million dollars in damage. Floods pose a significant risk to the transport and trade network, with more than 85% of losses resulting from service disruptions.

"It has been estimated that the average annual losses from floods in two of the main corridors in the country (Tirana-Durres and Durres-Vlora) reach up to 15 million dollars.

Bridges and drainage along the main road network are estimated to suffer over $20 million in annual flood losses. Main roads face annual losses of €22.5 million from floods, landslides and earthquakes, while other critical infrastructure is also at risk," the Bank's summary said.

These findings, according to the document, confirm the urgency for interventions to increase the resilience of Albania's roads and bridges to climate change and natural disasters.

This, according to the WB, requires a detailed risk assessment, assessment of the physical condition of existing bridges, adjacent structures (access roads, retaining walls, gabions, etc.) and other structures or protection methods to stabilize the flow of rivers and embankments, and the resistance of their to the higher expected impacts of climate change and natural disasters./ Monitor

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