A new silk road may soon connect Europe with China thanks to a new road project that was recently given the go-ahead.

Recently, a new toll road project spannning over 2,000 km was given the greenlight by the Kremlin. To be called the 'Meridian Highway', the privately-funded road project will start from the country's border near Belarus and Kazakhstan, and head westward to connect with China.

The project, which was spearheaded by a former deputy chairman of a Russian gasoline company, said that it will supposedly cost a monumental $9.4 billion (around Php 482 billion) and will be made possible via a public-private partnership initiative. In addition, 80% of the land that will be needed to construct the highway has already been bought by Russian Holding. The four-lane highway will begin near a junction at the Russia-Kazakhstan border and will connect to an existing highway that joins Minsk, Belarus with Moscow.

While the main goal of the project is to connect Russia with China, the new road may also improve access between Europe and Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and even Georgia. The new road may also serve as an alternate route for those that usually cross the Caspian Sea when going to and from the two continents.

Ultimately however, the Meridian Highway is aimed at improving trucking routes that frequently travel between Central Europe and Western China. Moreover, freight loads that usually use the Trans-Siberian Railway and Suez Canal will be able to use the new highway once it's completed.

While the Meridian Highway is still years away of being fully completed, this massive road project could serve as an inspiration for a mega bridge that could connect all the major islands in the Philippines.

Source: Moscow Times and CNN