The proposed project will support the rehabilitation and construction of the road section from Fier (Levan) to Tepelene, part of the north-south corridor.
Civil works will be co-financed with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Government of Albania. EU donor funds have been provided to prepare detailed design and tender documents. Supervision consultants will be financed and managed by the EU. Canada has also provided grant funds for lenders monitoring consultancy.
Transition impact would stem from improved corporate governance and road sector funding/cost recovery. As part of the project, a strategy to reform the road sector administration and management will be developed and implemented, along with a further review of road sector financing and cost recovery.
The Borrower is Albania. The Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications and General Roads Directorate.
EUR 35 million (EBRD portion).
Estimated EUR 109 million.
The Project involves the construction of 37 km of a new road and the rehabilitation of 37 km of an existing road. Therefore, it has been screened A/0, requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment and associated public consultation.
Fier to Tepelene Section of North-South Corridor, Environmental Impact Assessment, Final Draft Report, Scetaroute, 2004.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and associated public consultation had been carried out in accordance with Albanian EIA law, which is harmonised with the EU EIA Directive as well as with EBRD’s specific EIA requirements. The Executive Summary of the EIA is available at http://www.ebrd.com/enviro/eias/index.htm
Consideration of alternatives
The proposed route was selected from four alternative routes after a combined evaluation of technical, economic and environmental criteria.
Key environmental impacts and mitigation measures
The proposed road goes through an archaeologically rich area and an accurate assessment of the archaeological and cultural heritage needs to be undertaken before any development work starts. This will include test excavations in advance of construction in the known sites of Frakulla e Madhe, Ada, Varibopi and Cakran and archaeological surveys to identify any other remains of interest.
The proposed route has moderate impact on landscape character with some local visual impacts. Grassland or woodland planting will be distributed along the road as screening and landscape integration. Specific Landscape Mitigation Measures, such as plantation of noise bunds, will be established in order to mitigate the impacts on neighbouring properties.
Hydrography and surface waters will be impacted due to extensive regarding and realignment works along the stream in Povla ravine between Klosi and Fratari. In addition, a number of existing watercourses will also be slightly regarded as part of the drainage works for the proposed road. At watercourse crossings, flat/modest gradients within culverts or bottomless culverts will be used to allow passage by fish. During construction, discharge of silt into the water column will be mitigated through pollution control measures, such as bunding and siltation fences.
Potential direct and indirect impacts on habitat and biodiversity, such as vegetation clearing, erosion of slopes on cuts and fills, damage to existing valuable trees and woodland, have been assessed to be minor. Accidental mortality of animals crossing the road will be mitigated with road signs showing sites of importance for animal movements and migration. The impact on the three Nature Reserves situated in the vicinity of the project (Nature Reserve of Levan and two Nature Reserves of Pishe-Poro) will be negligible.
Due to relatively low forecasted traffic levels the air emissions from the road use are likely to be negligible. During construction, dust is likely to be generated by construction activities. No mitigation measures are proposed with regard to the low impact of the project.
The properties along the scheme identified as having potential noise impact will be protected, e.g. by earth bounds or window insulation. The large-scale construction activities, including the use of a variety of engines, rock breaking and construction traffic, may temporarily generate significant levels of noise. The contractors will be obliged to take specific noise abatement measures.
Socio-economic impacts are related to expropriation of land on the route of the new road and minor resettlement. The list of parcels with exact locations, size and owners will be defined after completion of the Final Detailed Design.
The impacts on local communities will be mitigated through re-establishing local routes frequented by farmers, cattle, and pedestrians. Traffic Calming devices will be implemented in order to lower the speed of the traffic while crossing villages and town. During construction, specific measures will be taken by the contractor to keep in function water, electricity and gas services and irrigation systems.
The new road will also have some socio-economic benefits, such as revival of local economy (shops, restaurants, gas stations, local products, etc) and provision of a better connection with other areas and make it easier for inhabitants of smaller villages to use services and facilities (schools, clinics and sport facilities, etc.) of the neighbouring, larger towns.
Environmental management and monitoring
An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is being developed to define the environmental measures and procedures to prevent, minimise and mitigate adverse impacts and to ensure compliance with applicable environmental standards during both the construction and operation of the road. The EMP wil define necessary mitigation measures, environmental monitoring plan and institutional measures to be taken during project construction and operation. The EMP will be finalised when the detailed design of the project is completed. It may need to be revised during the course of the project implementation. The environmental monitoring of the key impacts identified in the EIA will ensure the efficiency of the planned mitigation measures.
Disclosure of information and public consultation
Two public scoping discussions to identify relevant issues to be addressed in the EIA study were held in Fier and in Tepelene on March 22nd and March 23rd, 2004. Communities directly affected by the project were also consulted using a questionnaire. A number of comments were presented and taken into account in the Draft Design and the EIA.
The draft EIA report was disclosed to public at a number of locations near the project site and in Tirana for 120-day comment period as of 2 July 2004, in accordance with the Bank’s requirements. The public was notified in Albanian daily newspapers of the EIA disclosure.
Two final public consultation meetings to discuss the findings and the mitigation plan contained in the EIA were held in Fier and Tepelene on 3 and 4 November 2004. The public expressed general support for the project. The issues raised at the meetings will be taken into account in the preparation of the Final Detailed Design.
The Client will organise on-going disclosure of information on the progress of the project and its environmental impacts throughout the project implementation on its website, in annual environmental reports and through periodic press releases.
Supervision and reporting
The client will report to EBRD annually on the measured environmental impacts and on the implementation of the EMP. The Bank will evaluate the project's compliance with the applicable environmental and social requirements during the lifetime of the project by reviewing these reports. EBRD environmental specialist may conduct monitoring visits to the site when and if deemed appropriate. In addition, independent environmental monitoring audits may be carried out.
There is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment available for this project.
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