Lebanon - Transportation
As of 2002, Lebanon had 7,300 km (4,536 mi) of roads of which 6,350 km (3,945 mi) were paved. Construction of new roads have been frequently delayed by recurrent hostilities. Many roads were badly in need of repair; since 1982, fully one-third of the country's roads have been rehabilitated. Some new mileage has also been added. In 2000 there were 524,900 registered passenger autos, and 200,400 commercial vehicles.
The 399 km (248 mi) state-owned railway of which 317 km (197 mi) consists of a 1.435-m-gauge line running parallel to the coastal area where civil hostilities kept the railway virtually inoperable in 1991. And, due to the civil war in 2001, the entire system is unusable because of damage.
Beirut, a major Mediterranean port, was closed during the 1975-76 war and intermittently thereafter, reopening by March 1991. When Beirut port was closed, Sidon became the principal port for Muslims and Juniyah for Christians. Other ports include Tripoli and Tyre. The rehabilitation and modernization of Beirut Port is underway, and the rehabilitation and development of Tripoli Port was completed in 2001. As of 2002, Lebanon had a merchant fleet of 67 ships with a capacity of 320,770 GRT.
There were eight airports in 2001, five with paved runways. Beirut International, Lebanon's principal airport, remained generally open until bombing during the Israeli invasion forced its closure in June–October 1982. It had handled 1,660,000 passengers in 1980; by 1985, the number was down to 599,000. Lebanon's two airlines, Middle East Airlines (MEA) and Trans-Mediterranean Airways (TMA), suffered heavy losses during the 1975-76 war and the Israeli invasion. In 2001, 815,900 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights.