Back in 2000, I used to go on trips to Tannourine with a friend and complain about the constant works taking place on the roads leading there.
“It’s for a good thing,” the man always told me. I never knew what he meant until very recently. I only realized the importance of the full scope of the project at hand yesterday when it took me ten minutes to get from my hometown to Tannourine, using the newly opened section of the Batroun-Tannourine Highway, the part extending from the town of Bejdarfel to Assia.
Easier commute, easier ambulance trips, easier impromptu road trips…. You name it.
We, as Lebanese, always nag about the dismal state of our infrastructure. So it’s nice to highlight something good for a change. And this is definitely on the advanced side. Instead of working on already existing roads, they’ve created new ones in valleys and mountains to cut distances short. And the effort put in the highway shows.
There’s still a little more work that needs to be done on some of the newly finished sections: put up lanes and fix some asphalt-related issues, but overall, it is a great drive. At some points, with the towering mountains around you all full of snow, you feel like you’ve been taken out of the stereotype image you have of Lebanon and to some section of the Italian alps. It is absolutely breathtaking.
Batroun’s MPs have been working hard to get the highway plans underway and hopefully their enthusiasm and the highway will be properly maintained. The final stretch of the project extending from my hometown, Ebrine, to Batroun will start soon.
I bet Fairuz would be happy that her trip from Hamlaya to Tannourine is rendered much shorter now.