Posted on 15 July 2014.
The KRG’s Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction is currently building a dual carriageway connecting Erbil to Haji Omaran.
Parts of the road, which include tunnels and bridges, do not pass through the old path known as Hamilton Road.
After the project is completed, the road between Erbil and Haji Omaran will become a dual carriageway. The majority of the project is currently being implemented, including the construction of the Pirmam road and tunnel, the Korey dual carriageway, roadwork in Shaqlawa and Mama Jalka, construction of the Bani Harir tunnel, and the stretch of the dual carriageway from Choman to Haji Omaran.
The project comprises two main sections. The first section includes the construction of the Pirmam road and tunnel, with a total length of 8.822 kilometers. The length of the tunnel is 2.450 km and the length of the road is 6.432 km. The road and tunnel system is 72% completed, and is expected to be open to the public by the middle of 2015.
The first section also includes the expansion of the 21.320 km Korey – Shaqlawa – Mama Jalka road, which requires the construction of two tunnels, 935 and 380 meters long. Approximately 82% of this road and tunnel system has been completed; it is also expected to be finished by the middle of 2015.
Finally, the first section includes the construction of the Bani Harir tunnel system, with a total length of 4.415 km. The tunnel itself is 3.565 km, and the road is 850 meters long. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
The second section of the project consists of the construction of the 16.685 km dual carriageway connecting Choman to Haji Omaran, to be completed by the end of 2017.
Along with lessening the time required for travel and reducing the number of traffic accidents, the construction of Erbil-Haji Omaran road is expected to boost the Region’s trade relations with regional and neighboring countries because of its strategic location. It will also connect villages, towns, and areas near the highway with the Kurdistan Region’s major cities.
Archibald Hamilton, an engineer from New Zealand, built the old strategic road in the late 1920s in order to link Erbil to Haji Omaran. He has recalled his work in the book Road through Kurdistan: The Narrative of an Engineer in Iraq, published in London in 1937.
In terms of developing other road networks in Kurdistan, the Ministry has completed the design and preparation of the dual carriageway road and tunnel between Mama Jalka and Choman, with a length of 62.685 km. This length includes 15.540 km of tunnel and 47.145 km of road. This will be implemented through phases according to the Ministry’s annual budget.