Transport in Albania

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Transport in Albania has been rather undeveloped during the Communist period (between 1945 and 1990), after which the country has had to make significant investment into transport infrastructure.

Contents

History

The total length of Albania's highways more than doubled in the first three decades after World War II, and by the 1980s almost all of the country's remote mountain areas were connected, at least by dirt roads, with the capital city of Tirana and ports on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The country's roads, however, were generally narrow, poorly marked, pocked with holes, and in the early 1990s often crowded with pedestrians and people riding mules, bicycles, and horse-drawn carts.

Central government funding of local road maintenance effectively ended in 1991, and the breakdown of repair vehicles because of a lack of spare parts threatened to close access to some remote areas. A group of Greek construction companies signed a protocol with the Albanian government in July 1990 to build a 200 kilometer road across the southern part of the country, extending from the Albanian-Greek border to Durrës. The project was scheduled to last four years and cost US$500 million.[citation needed]

Despite the poor quality of Albania's roads, most of the country's freight was conveyed over them in a fleet of about 15,000 trucks. According to official figures, in 1987 Albania's roadways carried about 66 percent of the country's total freight tonnage. In 1991 the Albanian government lifted the decades-old ban on private-vehicle ownership (the communist regime had banned private ownership of automobiles).

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