Highways & Landscape (1) - Georgia 2024


This photo series evolved during a visit to Georgia in 2024.
Getting around in Georgia without a car is nearly impossible. There are no passenger trains, especially in the more remote areas, and the Mashrutkas, the regional public transport minibuses, didn’t seem reliable to us. So, we took the first available option: renting a car from the cousin of our waiter.

The contrast between the old road system and the newly constructed streets in Georgia is striking. We saw a brand-new expressway bridge next to one with literal holes in the pavement, forcing us to zigzag to avoid falling into the river. Our biggest fears during the whole trip were the enormous potholes, cows, speed bumps, and confused night-time wanderers on the roads. Few places illustrate the importance of international connectivity—or its absence—more vividly than the Caucasus. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region went from being an integrated province to an isolated backwater. With almost no road improvements and an ever-growing number of registered motor vehicles, largely due to the influx of broken and scrapped cars from Western Europe, Georgia had the highest number of road fatalities per capita in the greater European region until significant safety measures were implemented in 2010. In recent years, international institutions have played a crucial role in road construction. Given the region's strategic importance for a transnational trade route between China and Europe, recent highway extensions have been funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). With the growing interest in establishing the so-called "Middle Corridor," Georgia’s East-West Highway and the Batumi-Kutaisi connection are set to become major international expressways, as well.