|From: Outer Ring of Tirana|
Length 26 km
|To: SH3 near Elbasan|
The Albanian Motorway Road A3 (Albanian: Rruga autostradale 3) stretches between Tirana and Elbasan (26 kilometres (16 mi)) connecting Tirana with the Pan-European Transport Corridor VIII. A3 is planned to run along the central corridor of Albania from Tirana to southern Albania, whose first part is the Tirana–Elbasan Highway. This stretch will have 21 viaducts and two tunnels, each with 2.3 kilometers in length. In the long run, a further construction to Berat (approx. 79 km) and Tepelenë in southern Albanian, is planned. A3 is the only motorway n Albania to encompass all motorway safety standards such as fencing, and emergency shoulders.
According to a press release of the former Transport Minister Sokol Olldashi the construction of the Tirana bypass began in March 2011.
The A3 motorway begins in the outskirts of Tirana at Rruga Sauk (English: Sauk Road) from the southwest part of Tirana's beltway (Albanian: Unaza e Madhe Tiranë), which goes through the Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake. From there, the new road will run about 3 km parallel to the SH3 until they cross it and then transferred into a 550 meter long tunnel.
Afterwards, the highway will run north of the SH3 parallel to this in the valley past the villages of Mullet, and Dobresh, Bërzhita until it then swings direction into Krrabë near Mushqeta. After Krrabë, the A3 passes along the border of Tirana and Elbasan counties onto a 2,200 m long tunnel through the Krrabë hills.
After the tunnel and the mountain chain, the highway runs in the valley of the Kusha River towards Elbasan, where it goes through Bradashesh and Shijon and again meets the SH3 and the path from 30.7 km to the end of the new line at the existing roundabout with SH7 the railway-Durrës-Elbasan Rrogozhina Gur-i kuq replaced at km 31.165.
The section from Tirana to Elbasan, will be an alternative to the old curvy road SH3 along Krraba Pass. The new highway bypasses the heavy traffic via Durrës-Rrogozhina. In addition, the new track about 15 km shorter than the path to the SH3, resulting in drastically reduced distance with much higher speed between Tirana and Elbasan. Economically, after completion it will be an important link between the Albanian capital and Greece.
On 29 April 2011 the construction work on the Krrabë tunnel started. It is expected to be ready in March 2013. The end of construction for the entire route from Tirana to Elbasan is projected for June 2013 (18 months construction time), however a hill collapse near Ibe has further delayed completion due to inadequate geological feasibility studies.
The total cost for the section from Tirana to Elbasan to amount to 440 million euros. The funding is partially taken over by the Islamic Development Bank.