Over 7.1b needed for maintaining, renovating roads

November 9, 2021 - 16:6

TEHRAN – Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Rostam Qasemi has said more than 300 trillion rials (about $7.14 billion) is required for the renovation and maintenance of the country’s road network, the Transport Ministry’s portal reported.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 13th Bitumen, and Asphalt, Machinery Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday, Qasemi said: “There are more than 200,000 kilometers of asphalt roads in the country, and we need more than 300 trillion rials of financial resources for the renovation and maintenance of these roads.”

He mentioned the need for using high-quality materials for constructing roads and said: “In road construction, one important issue that should be considered is the quality of the used materials, in which we are facing major weaknesses.”

“There are many weaknesses in the maintenance of existing roads that need to be addressed. Also, there are issues regarding the quality of materials, of which bitumen is a major part; we need to use up-to-date knowledge and technologies throughout the road construction process from implementation to monitoring and testing,” Qasemi said.

“We need to include bitumen quality control and asphalt upgrading in the ministry’s programs,” he said.

Back in 2019, Deputy Head of Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (RMTO) Heidar Mataei had said that the country’s roads need 120 trillion rials (about $2.8 billion) of the annual budget to be properly maintained.

According to Mataei, RMTO uses the Pavement Management System (PMS) for collecting systemic data about the country’s roads in order to obtain a more scientific look and a better understanding of the state of the roads.

He said that in order to carry out maintenance operations for 36,000 kilometers of arterial roads in the country, 120 trillion rials is needed annually.

In the most optimistic case, credits and allocations will provide about 35 percent of the required fund, so maintaining roads have been prioritized in order to optimize the costs, in this regard, transit corridors are the top priority, according to the official.

In the past two decades, Iran’s transportation infrastructure has gone through a major transformation, and every year the country is advancing more in this area.

Currently, more than 80 percent of the country’s roads are paved and the government is also hugely planning on expanding and developing the country’s railway network.

EF/MA

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