Ukraine has signed an agreement with the World Bank on provision of a loan of USD 560 million by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (a member of the World Bank group) for financing reconstruction of highways. First Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Shulmeister and World Bank Director for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova Qimiao Fan signed the document in Kyiv on Thursday.

As reported, the money will be used to continue the reconstruction of the Highway M03 (Kyiv-Kharkiv-Dovzhansky). In particular, reconstruction work will be performed on the Poltava-Kharkiv section of the highway.

"Also as part of this project, design and repair of the second East-West transport corridor, namely Krakovets-Lviv-Ternopil-Vinnytsia-Uman-Kirovohrad, will begin with subsequent repair of the Kirovohrad-Mykolaiv-Kherson corridor to the southern ports, which will allow Ukraine to transport cargoes from Asia through our seaports to Europe," Shulmeister said earlier. He added that there are plans to allocate an additional USD 240 million in case of successful implementation of the project.

Modernization will be performed based on the standard of a first-category highway (a highway with four lanes, a barrier through the middle, and, if necessary, barriers on both sides of the highway). The project is scheduled for completion in 2021. As a result, the travel time between Poltava and Kharkiv will be reduced from 140 minutes to 96 minutes.

In addition, part of the funds will be used to finance maintenance and improvement of road safety on approximately 840 kilometers of the country’s key national transport corridors.

As reported, the World Bank has financed two projects involving repair and reconstruction of various sections of the M03 Highway. The first is the project for repair of the Boryspil-Lubny section of the M03 Highway with a length of approximately 120 kilometers. The funds that were saved were also used to finance repairs on some sections between Lubny and Poltava. In addition, World Bank funds were used to finance elimination of places of high concentration of road accidents and two pedestrian bridges on the Kyiv-Odesa highway.

The second project involved repair of a section between Lubny and Poltava with a length of about 108 kilometers. Work to improve the infrastructure in areas of concentration of traffic accidents was also performed and money was spent on building institutional capacity.