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09:52 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Tajikistan Opens Nation's Longest Highway Tunnel

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Tajikistan has officially opened a three-mile-long tunnel that will lop 11 hours off the travel time between the capital and the nation’s northern regions.

Tajikistan has officially opened a three-mile-long tunnel that will lop 11 hours off the travel time between the capital and the nation’s northern regions.

“The Shakhriston Tunnel makes this the shortest route between Asia and Europe,” Tajik President Emomali Rakhman said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday.

The 3.25-mile tunnel, the longest of the nation’s three tunnels, cost $90.2 million to build. It will boost Tajikistan’s trade with Uzbekistan and the rest of Central Asia, as well as China, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, by reducing transportation costs.

The tunnel’s builder, Chinese China Road, began construction in August 2006. It is one element in a $300-million reconstruction of the Dushanbe-Chanak toll road.