Albania–Kosovo Highway

Template: Infobox trunk road / Maintenance / AL -A


  • Qark Durres
  • Tirana County
  • Qark Lezha
  • Qark Kukes
  • In construction
  • In planning

The Autostrada A1 or Autostradë A1 (Albanian for " A1 motorway " ), also known as Durres - Kosovo highway, Durres - Morina highway or Durres - Kukes highway, connects the main traffic artery, the economic centers of Albania Durres and Tirana with the Kosovo. Officially, it runs from the Adriatic port city of Durres on Vora and Milot through the northern Albanian mountains to Kukes and on to the Kosovar Morina border.

Because of their importance for Albanians on both sides of the border it is also called Rruga e Kombit ( Street of the Nation).


From Durres from the A1 leads to the stretching of the SH 2, SH 52 and SH 1 to Milot (59 km). The SH 2 also connects the Albanian capital Tirana - also the economic center of the country - with the A1. From Milot she continues in a northeasterly direction towards Rrëshen (26 km), then by the mountain regions of the Mirdita across the river Drin after Kukes and from there to Morina on the Albanian- Kosovo border.

Expansion of state

Construction on the section Rrëshen - Kalimash began in October 2006 and have been fully completed on May 15, 2010. This section but was officially opened in June 2009 by the Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci and opened to traffic. The Kalimash tunnel, from the first was a tube available, but then had soon to be temporarily closed for maintenance and Theses again. Then the second tube was opened to traffic in October 2010. From Milot Rrëshen by a Slovenian company created an expressway with only one lane in each direction for the time being. The section of Kalimash to Albanian- Kosovar border (about 30 km ) has been completed as a four-lane highway.

The SH 1 of Thumana to Milot section has also been expanded to a four-lane highway, but expansion plans for the SH 52 from Vora Fushë Kruja are not known.


Although the A1 extends officially over distances of SH1, SH2 and SH52, these sections are not all fully signposted as A1. A signage as A1 is done up to now only on the newly built, four-lane route between Rrëshen and Kukes and on a newly built four-lane section of SH 1 between Thumana and Milot.

Whether the SH 2 and SH 52 are also posted in the future as A1 or whether those names are even replaced, is still unclear at present.


The construction of the A1 through the mountainous northern Albania was a major challenge alone, the 60.856 km long section Rrëshen - Kalimash, which was built by Bechtel & Enka Joint Venture US-amerikanisch/türkischen ( BEJV ), was over one billion U.S. dollars the hitherto most expensive infrastructure project in Albania. In this section, 27 bridges and viaducts, as well as the 5.65 km long Kalimash tunnel through the mountainous northern Albania were built.

Also on the section between Kukes and the Kosovar border numerous structures such as bridges and more deep land cuts were necessary.

Despite the high cost, the government prioritized this road link, since the development of Kosovo's sales market and the access of Kosovo to the Adriatic ports - especially Shëngjin and Durres - are likely to have positive effects on the economies of both countries. Moreover, the majority of the tourists who visit Albania each year comes from Kosovo. This axis would also allow a connection with the Pan-European Corridor X via Prishtina and Leskovac in Serbia. Due to the political situation between Kosovo and Serbia, the timely realization of a corresponding compound is rather unrealistic, was started in Kosovo even if the construction of a corresponding highway connection.

Costs and maintenance

Overall, the cost of the section between Rrëshen and Kalimash are estimated at 826 million euros, of which only the tunnel occupies about 280 million euros.

The entire highway between Durrës to Kosovan border is currently free passable. Fees, tolls, and the like are not allowed. In December 2011, the Albanian government will tender for the stretch of motorway between Rrëshen and Kalimash a project to give a company the maintenance work on the highway. In addition, in January 2012, the government will do the same for the tunnel. It would have a cost of 5 euros for cars and 10 Euros for trucks and buses. Through this toll around 13 million euros a year could generate revenues and pay for the tunnel theoretically in about 21 years.

In June 2011, the Albanian government had the consortium Bechtel Enka & pay an additional 100 million U.S. dollars, as the reason she called the expenditure maintenance work on Kalimash tunnel.

In January 2013, the Albanian government will decide on which company the highway is privatized. So should, among other road maintenance is financed. The toll will be no more than five Euro.