“NURLY ZHOL”: NEW ROADS WILL RENOVATE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY OF KAZAKHSTAN
In November 2014, President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed people of Kazakhstan with another Message, in which he announced a New Economic Policy – Nurly Zhol
“New highways, which will be built by Kazakhstan citizens, will update our economy and society”, – N. Nazarbayev said. Pursuant to paragraph 4 of the National Plan for the implementation of the Message, the Nurly Zhol state infrastructure program was developed and approved by a presidential decree in April 2015.
The Nurly Zhol State Program provides implementation of 15 projects for construction and reconstruction of highways with a total length of more than 4.5 thousand kilometers – connecting capital with remote regional centers by the ray principle. These projects include the Center-South, Center-East, Center-West, Center-North corridors. In addition to them, the priority are international corridors and border areas: Almaty-Ust-Kamenogorsk, Usharal – Dostyk, Beineu – Akzhigit, Kalabatau – Maykapshagay, Uralsk – Kamenka – border of RF.
In these directions, contracts have already been signed, traffic at sections will be opened as they are completed. After all the work is completed, the roads will be transferred to higher categories. The result of which will be: increase in safety on the roads, increase in throughput and transit traffic. This will give an excellent impulse for development of the country’s economy. With hourly traffic over 2400 vehicles per hour, the projected road belongs to the 1st category, 1600 – 2400 vehicles per hour to the 2nd category, and 800 -1600 vehicles per hour to the 3rd category.
To reduce financial burden on the budget and ensure further payback of road maintenance, tolling systems are being built on Astana-Temirtau, Almaty-Kapshagay and Almaty-Khorgos roads, with a total length of 471 kilometers. However, work is underway to find alternative sources of funding.
By 2020, it is planned to increase the length of toll roads to 6.7 thousand kilometers, and by 2025 to 11.7 thousand kilometers. At the same time, it is expected that tolls on toll roads will amount to 40 billion tenge. These funds will be enough for the maintenance of not only toll roads, but also free highways of republican significance. It should be noted that during construction and reconstruction of roads, special attention is paid to development of related infrastructure – road service facilities. At present, 1,859 service facilities are functioning on the country’s roads — gas stations, retail and catering. Among these 779, or 42 percent, correspond to the national standard ST RK 2476-2014. More than 25,000 employees work at these sites. In order to fully provide roads of national importance with road services, by the end of 2018, standard projects of road service facilities will be developed for 39 recreation sites. Such sites will be located in the most popular places and will provide the entire range of road services.
There is also planned installation of 68 pavilions of KazWay service. Now 12 pavilions have been purchased and 10 of them have already been installed on roads Astana-Temirtau, Astana-Schuchinsk, Roads of Burabay resort zone, Bypass of Astana, 2 units on Almaty – Ust-Kamenogorsk highway. Pavilions of the KazWay service are equipped with a modern well-appointed toilet with a vacuum system, for men and women separately, conveniences for physically challenged people are also provided. Bathrooms are equipped with modern vacuum system, where water consumption is 18 times less than normal. Among amenities for travelers there are also coffee makers, microwaves, refrigerators. Work is underway on the introduction of roads and road service facilities, with photos, into Google Maps and Yandex Maps. These objects already have more than one and a half million views. This work will be expanded, as all road service facilities on republican roads that meet the National Standard are presented on Transpark map of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), where it is possible to filter road service facilities by provided services – for example, guarded parkings. This map is available online at https://www.iru.org/apps/transpark-app you can also download the mobile application for iOS and Android.
At present, information on the services provided by road service facilities is being supplemented. In 2018, KazAvtoZhol NC JSC developed the KazWay mobile application, in which all road service facilities, populated areas and medical aid points on roads of republican significance were included. This application is already available for iOS and Android platforms. In general, along with introduction of toll travel and the development of service facilities, it is necessary to modernize the entire road sector, which must meet modern requirements and take into account prospects for further development. In accordance with great attention paid to information technologies, in many countries the concept of “Smart highway” is being introduced – this is the concept of developing next-generation highways, which will be much more functional, more convenient, safer and more environmentally friendly than modern highways. In pursuance of instructions of the Head of State, given in the Message to the People of Kazakhstan dated January 10, 2018, the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) will be implemented. “KazAvtoZhol” has already started implementation of measures aimed at digitization of transport and logistics complex, in particular, measures: to full registration for traffic intensity; control and regulation of speed of movement; introduction of digital geolocation; motion monitoring; automated weight and size control; weather data and weather forecasting; automatization of processes of roads maintenance and repair planning
For a complete digital transformation, it is necessary to integrate the proposed Intelligent Transport System with such systems as Road Asset Management System (RAMS), Special Automated Measuring System (SAMS), Emergency Call System for Accidents and Catastrophes (ECSAC). The implementation of the state program “Nurly Zhol” has a significant impact on growth of country’s GDP, contributes to the creation of new jobs, increasing transit traffic flows, the emergence of modern and high-quality highways, as well as improving the social infrastructure in general. The implementation of the state program is constantly monitored by the Government.