Georgia Road Network

By | October 31, 2022

Georgia’s main road network.

Georgia had a network of 21,110 kilometers of road in 2021.

According to wholevehicles, Georgia has a relatively limited road network, partly due to the large mountainous areas in the north and south, with most traffic in the central regions, especially for east-west traffic. Georgia is important as a transit country for freight traffic from Russia to Armenia. Georgia is also important for traffic from Turkey to Armenia and vice versa because the Turkish-Armenian border is closed. Georgia is also a relatively important transit country for Azerbaijan, with freight traffic from the Black Sea ports in Georgia to Azerbaijan.

In Georgia there is one main highway, which runs from Tbilisi to the west. It is gradually extended westwards to the Black Sea coast. There are also some bypasses with highway-like characteristics. The unstable situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia has effectively shut down traffic to these regions. There is a tunnel from South Ossetia to Russia through the Caucasus, but due to the conflict in South Ossetia, it is closed to through traffic.

The main road network is divided into two road classes, the national main roads (prefix S or ს in Georgian). These are 13 routes covering a total of 1,593 kilometers. These roads connect the major cities and important border crossings with neighboring countries. Parts of these routes are located in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and are therefore de facto not under the control of the Georgian government. The secondary main roads (prefix Sh or შ in Georgian) make up the rest of the road network, consisting of 209 routes with a total length of 5,460 kilometers. Most of these road numbers are not signposted, but sometimes they are.

Road management

The headquarters of the Bank of Georgia, originally built in 1975 for the Ministry of Highway Construction.

The national road authority is the Roads Department of Georgia, also called Georoad, საავტომობილო გზების დეპარტამენტი (saavt’omobilo gzebis dep’art’ament’i) in Georgian. Georoad operates 6,900 kilometers of road, 32 tunnels and 1,609 bridges.

In 1975, the headquarters of the Ministry of Highway Construction of the Georgian SSR was completed on the bank of the Kura River in Tbilisi. This is considered one of the most remarkable buildings in Georgia. The building stood empty after the fall of the Soviet Union and was bought by the Bank of Georgia in 2007.

Motorways

Georgia’s East-West Highway.

In Georgia, the ‘East-West Highway’ is being developed, a new highway from Tbilisi to the border with Turkey near Batumi. The length is approximately 335 kilometers. This includes the upgrade and new construction of the S1 between Tbilisi and Samtredia, the S12 between Samtredia and Grigoleti and the S2 between Grigoleti and Batumi. This is a modern motorway with 2×2 lanes and is completely grade separated. Various routes have already been opened in the 2015-2020 period.

Outside of the East-West Highway, there are no real highways in Georgia. The S5 in Tbilisi has been developed over 9 kilometers of highway, partly with 2×3 lanes. The S4 has also been constructed as a highway over 9 kilometers between Tbilisi and Rustavi, plus a 4 kilometer long highway-like section along the Kura in Tbilisi itself. Over the bank of the Kura, the S1 runs as a city motorway with a partially grade-separated character. As a bypass of Tbilisi, the S9 has separate connections with other S-roads, but is otherwise not a motorway.

National highways

Georgia’s 13 National Highways.

Georgia’s main road network is made up of major roads numbered from S1 to S13, which formed a network of 1,593 kilometers in 2022. The prefix S (ს) stands for ” აერთაშორისო მნიშვნელობის გზა” (Saertashoriso mnishvnelobis gza, Road of international importance). Sometimes these are highways. In most cases these are regular single carriageways with oncoming traffic. Most of these roads are poorly developed and go through many built-up areas. Originally the network consisted of the S1 to S9, later higher numbers were added.

# No. Route Length Remark
S1 Tbilisi – Gori – Kutaisi – Sukhumi – Kheivani – border Russia 544 km is partly located in Abkhazia
S2 Senaki – Poti – Batumi – border Turkey 125 km
S3 Mtskheta – Sioni – border Russia 135 km Georgian Military Road
S4 Tbilisi – Rustavi – Azerbaijan border 65 km
S5 Tbilisi – Sagaredzho – Lagodekhi – Azerbaijan border 160 km
S6 Marneuli – Guguti – Armenia border 60 km
S7 Tbilisi – Madneuli – Armenia border 60 km
S8 Khashuri – Akhaltsikhe – Turkey border 90 km
S9 Rustavi – Tbilisi – Mtskheta 45 km Bypass of Tbilisi
S10 Gori – Tshkinvali – border Russia 90 km is largely in South Ossetia
S11 Akhaltsikhe – Akhalkalaki – Ninotsminda – Armenia border 110 km
S12 Samtredia – Grigoleti 70 km
S13 Akhalkalaki – Kartsakhi – Turkey border 35 km

European roads

Several E-roads run through Georgia.

European roads in Georgia
E60 • E70 • E97 • E117 • E691 • E692 • E001

Asian Highways

Asian Highways in Georgia
AH5 • AH81 • AH82

Road numbering

The national trunk roads have the prefix “S”. The prefix S is displayed as the Georgian ს on the signage. The main roads are numbers S1 to S13, with the S1 being the longest road from Tbilisi to the extreme northwest of the country. The S2 branches off there and runs to the Turkish border. The S3 runs from Tbilisi to the Russian border in the north, the S4 is the route from Tbilisi to the Azerbaijani border. The S5 runs east from Tbilisi as an alternative route to Azerbaijan. The S6 and S7 run from the Tbilisi region to Armenia and the S8 runs to the interior of Turkey. The S9 forms a regional bypass east of Tbilisi.

In addition, there is a dense network of secondary roads, with the prefix “Sh”. These road numbers are only sporadically indicated, especially on new signposts. These roads are often short and connect villages and rural areas with the national highways. They are numbered from 1 to 209.

Signage

The S1 in Georgia.

Motorways have green signs with white letters, other signs are blue with white letters. Between the prefix and the road number is a hyphen, for example ს-1. On the highway S1 between Tbilisi and Gori, the E number (E60) is indicated more regularly. On older signs and in other parts of the country, E numbers are used sporadically and with little consistency. The signage is in both Georgian and English and in capital script. There are occasional Soviet-era signs with both Cyrillic and Georgian script, especially in remote areas.

Road safety

Road safety in Georgia has improved, in 2015 there were 602 road deaths, in 2020 this had fallen to 450 road deaths, a ratio of 120 per 1 million inhabitants.

Maximum speed

The speed limit in Georgia is 60 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h outside built-up areas and 110 km/h on motorways. Exceptions are possible within built-up areas, 20 km/h applies in residential areas and sometimes 70 or 80 km/h on major roads.

In Georgia, section controls are widely used, both on motorways and on regular roads. Drivers will immediately receive a text message if they have received a speeding fine.

Georgia Country Road Network