Surbana Jurong to improve Salang Corridor in Afghanistan

Salang Corridor
(Left to right): Dr Abdullah Abdullah, CEO, Government of Afghanistan; Ahmad Massih Hami, Secretary to the CEO; Dr Hamidullah Tarzi, SMEC’s Country Director, Afghanistan; and Mahmoud Baligh, Minister of Public Works, Government of Afghanistan

The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has engaged SMEC, member of the Surbana Jurong, to undertake a feasibility study and detailed engineering design for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Salang Corridor in Afghanistan.

The Salang Corridor is a major highway which connects capital Kabul with north Afghanistan.

The project will be implemented in two phases:

  • Phase 1: Feasibility Study and Alignment Recommendation, which will be completed within eight months
  • Phase 2: Detailed Design, Safeguards, and Procurement, which will last about 16 months

Upon completion, the upgraded Salang Corridor will reduce travel costs as well as improve travel time and reliability for users. It will play a key role in transportation and regional transit in Afghanistan, and improve connectivity between South Asia and Central Asia.

The corridor involves a 2.7 km tunnel which was built in 1964. The tunnel which was then the highest in the world held the record until 1973, when the United States built the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel in the Rocky Mountains.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank, this project aims to find an alternate route to the Salang Tunnel, which has fallen into a state of severe disrepair after more than 50 years of service. Present conditions within the tunnel not only constrain traffic flow, but are also dangerous to users, because of inadequate ventilation, poor lighting and safety, as well as a failing road surface.