Vardenis-Martakert Highway

Completed

Vardenis Martakert Highway

PROJECT TYPE:

Roads and Highways

LOCATION:

Armenia and Artsakh

DONORS:

All affiliates of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, benefactors worldwide, government of Armenia, government of Artsakh

STARTED:

September 2014

COMPLETED:

September 2017

COST:

$35.3 million

Vardenis Martakert Highway

miles

towns and villages

bridges

Project Details

Background:
In 1999, Armenia Fund completed the construction of the Goris-Stepanakert Highway, creating a lifeline between Armenia and Artsakh. Six years later, Armenia Fund completed the construction of the North-South Highway, which spanned the entire length of Artsakh, linking over 100 cities and towns.

In 2014, Armenia Fund launched its third and most ambitious road-construction project yet, the Vardenis-Martakert Highway, with the goals of creating a second lifeline between the twin Armenian republics, providing a state-of-the-art transportation line linking east-central Armenia and northern Artsakh, and promoting economic development through tourism and commerce.

 The Project:
With a total length of 72 miles (116 kilometers), the Vardenis-Martakert Highway is an engineering feat, in view of the numerous construction challenges that were posed by the route’s often difficult terrain. These included a significant stretch of unpaved, dirt-covered road that changed dramatically in width at different intervals and involved as many as 339 sharp turns, and sections that were partially blocked due to landslides or river swells.

With its inauguration on September 1, 2017, the Vardenis-Martakert Highway garnered universal admiration for its build quality and amenities — including water-removal and snowdrift-control mechanisms, protective barriers, retaining walls, and all requisite road signs. Also as part of the highway’s construction, a total of 17 bridges were built or refurbished; sidewalks and traffic lights were installed in sections of the highway that pass through towns and villages; side roads were built to connect the highway with the villages of Chapar and Dadivank; and the road linking Drmbon and Martakert was repaired.

The construction of the Vardenis-Martakert Highway has been made possible by Armenians from across the world, with major support provided by the governments of Armenia and Artsakh, the Armenian communities of the US, Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Lebanon, and Iran, as well as donors of the Fund’s 2013 and 2014 International Thanksgiving Day Telethons.

Impact:
By serving as a second lifeline between Armenia and Artsakh, the Vardenis-Martakert Highway is of enormous strategic, economic, and humanitarian importance. Apart from having considerably cut down travel times, it is boosting the economies of both republics, by stimulating commerce and creating jobs in the sectors of agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and trade.

Within close vicinity of the highway, there are 29 towns and villages that stand to gain from increased economic activity. They include Drmbon, Kochoghot, Verin Horatagh, Vaghuhas, Haterk, Getavan, Chapar, Khnkavan, Charektar, Nor Erkej, Dadivank, Nor Getashen, Knaravan, Yeghegnut, Karvachar, Nor Gharachinar, Harutagomer, Zardakhach, Hamshak, Chapni, Chinavan, Nor Kharkhapur, Shigkar, Nor Brajur, Yeghtsin, Zovk, Nor Vernashen, Msheni, and Nor Manashid.

It is estimated that the Vardenis-Martakert Highway has the potential to help double Artsakh’s GDP by 2020. Moreover, the highway provides travelers with unprecedented access to numerous historical and cultural sites, and allows them to enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Artsakh and Armenia alike.

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