Chinese Firm Moves Ahead With North Freeway Project

China’s Chengda Engineering Company has finished the preliminary design of Section 3 of Tehran-North Freeway, the company’s investment representative in Iran said.
“Negotiations between the Chinese company and Iran’s Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation officials on designing, financing and executing the project began six months ago. The project, which will take four years to complete, requires an estimated $2.2 billion worth of investments to be designed and carried out,” Saeed Abolkheirian was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Section 3 of the freeway, he said, passes through mountainous terrain.
Chengda Engineering Company with some 70 years of experience is specialized in carrying out mega transportation infrastructure projects in such areas.
“Last month, the Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation and Chengda signed the draft memorandum of understanding for the project, in which it was stipulated that 85% of the workforce employed in the project have to be Iranians. We estimate that this section of the freeway will create more than 5,000 jobs,” Abolkheirian said.
The 47-kilometer Section 3 has two lanes in each direction, along which 92 tunnels spanning 33.5 kilometers and 38 bridges will be constructed.
Preliminary plans to implement the Tehran-North project, which consists of four sections spanning 121 kilometers, were proposed about 20 years ago. The freeway is to connect Tehran to the city of Chalous in northern Mazandaran Province.
The 32-kilometer Section 1 from west of Tehran to Shahrestanak Village, which will shorten the current path by 60 kilometers, is currently under construction.
Sections 2 and 3 pass through mountainous terrain, are not easily accessible and will take longer to complete.
Section 4 of the freeway, which is 20 kilometers long and connects Marzanabad in Kelardasht District to Chalous (both in Mazandaran), was inaugurated in March 2014, but technical problems led to its closure.
Mohammad Saeedikia, the head of Mostazafan Foundation, said last year that the protracted project would fully come on stream by March 2023.    
During his visit to the site on June 17, he apologized for the inordinate delays, saying Section 1 will be completed before the Iranian year is out in March 2018.