Gov’t Sees Progress in Tehran-North Highway Construction

Gov’t Sees Progress in Tehran-North  Highway ConstructionGov’t Sees Progress in Tehran-North  Highway Construction

The ministry of roads and urban development is mobilizing all means at its disposal to complete the construction of the long awaited highway connecting Tehran to the northern province of Mazandaran. The project commenced over 20 years ago.

Ali Nourzad, deputy minister of roads and urban development at a press conference, said the highway project comprising four different sections will cover 121 km when completed. So far 93 percent of the fourth section is completed - connecting Marzanabad to Chalus.

Section 4 is from Marzanabad in Kelardasht District, Mazandaran Province  and is 20 km long. It has 5 tunnels with an overall length of 1400m. While this section was opened in March 2014, the tunnel work is still going on.  

“Based on a memorandum of understanding between the ministry and the Mostazafan Foundation, the largest charity and the second-largest commercial enterprise in Iran - Chinese contractors have been asked to complete the tunnels and bridges,” he said, ISNA reported. The foundation holds a 50% stake in the project.

The date of the project completion is set for the latter half of 2017 and once completed the route to the northern provinces will be shortened by 60 km, resulting in time and fuel efficiency. “As soon as the first section is ready, construction of the second and third will commence.”

On the project schedules, he pointed out that contractors have been tendered for the second and third sections, and “the final decision will be taken after thorough consideration.” Progress in these two sections has stalled due to high costs and also the contractor not moving at the expected pace.

It is estimated that nearly $3.5 billion would be needed for completion of the highway project. The middle sections of the route are not easily accessible due to the several twists and turns in the massive  and unfriendly mountain terrain. This is mainly the reason why construction has not progressed as planned, Nourzad added.


 Most Important Route

‘Road 77’ is the most important road from Tehran to northern Iran or Mazandaran Province on the Karaj-Chalus route. This road passes from the valley of Haraz river and therefore is also known as Haraz Road between Amol and Rudehen. Haraz road is the nearest to Mount Damavand, the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East. Lar National Park is accessible via this road.

The road is the shortest route from Tehran to the north (180 km).

Freeway 3, or more commonly known as Tehran-Shomal Freeway (literally: Tehran-North Freeway) connects Tehran to cities of western Mazandaran. Currently section 4 is in service and section 1 is under construction. Progress at sections 2 and 3 is stalled due to various reasons.

Section 1 starts from interchange with Azadegan Expressway and Hemmat Expressway in northwestern Tehran (Municipality District 21) to Doab, Shahrestanak, Alborz Province. The section currently under construction is 32 km long with 28 tunnels having an overall length of 28.4 km on both sides. The longest is Talun Tunnel  which is 4870m.

Section 2 is from Doab, Shahrestanak, Alborz to Pol-e Zanguleh in Kelardasht District. The total length is 25 km. The section has 20 tunnels with overall length of 24.2 km. The longest is Alborz Tunnel with a length of 6378 m. Section 3 is from Pol-e Zanguleh in Kelardasht District, to Marzanabad,  with a length of 46 km. The section will have 92 tunnels with overall length of 33.5 km.