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Four major infrastructural projects must be completed by the end of summer under OP “Transport”

6 June 2013 A+AA-
Four major infrastructural projects must be completed by the end of summer under OP “Transport”

Four major infrastructural projects, funded under Operational Programme “Transport”, are at the final stage of completion and are expected to be implemented by the end of the summer. This became clear during the XIV meeting of the Project’s Monitoring Committee. These projects include the first section of the Plovdiv-Burgas railway, Lot 1 of the Struma highway, Lot 4 of Trakia highway and the interlinking of the Sofia ring road with Hemus highway.

“Within the framework of OP “Transport” we have constructed 27km of new railroad, 168km of rail roads have been rehabilitated, 82km of roads have been constructed and modernised and the metro system has been upgraded with 13km track extension and 13 new stations”, said Galina Vasileva, Director of “Coordination of Programmes and Projects” Directorate at the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications. In her words, up to this point, €1,962 billion have been agreed upon which constitutes about 98% of the budget and the currently allocated funds exceed €930 million.

During the meeting of the Monitoring Committee, it was decided that €10 million will be transfered from the fourth priority axis to the third as the funds will be primarily invested in the modernization of railway station complexes. The proposal for Hemus highway financing under OP Transport Technical Support was also agreed.

Within the discussions National Railway Infrastructure Company reported that the first railway project which was financed under OP “Transport” has been completed and commisssioned. The Svilengrad - Turkish border route was inaugurated on the Day of Europe – 9th May, with a speed limit of 160 km/h. NRIC’s main objective is to finalize the route Plovdiv – Turkish/Greek border within the end of this programming period, where construction works are currently taking place at the Dimitrovgrad – Burgas section. Within the next months Lot 1 (Mihailovo – Kaloyanovets) of the railway project Plovdiv – Burgas is to be completed and its progress is estimated at 98-99%. Lot 2 (Stara Zagora – Zimnica) is also moving at a steady pace with physical implementation estimated at 52-54% as well as Lot 3 (Tserkovski – Karnobat – Burgas) at 57%. The construction plans for the Septemvri – Plovdiv route are ready and construction is expected to begin in the coming months.

Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company pointed out that phase one of the BULRIS project is expected to reach completion by the end of the year. At this point, phase two is also progressing at a good pace which involves the construction of a River Information Centre in Ruse. The VTMIS ship traffic control system within the Black Sea is to be upgraded. Executive Agency "Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River" has launched several tender procedures, including the purchase of a specialized ship suited to their needs.

Metropolitan Ltd. plans to complete the third metro line during the 2017-2018 period, with a total length of 57km and 54 metro stations. According to them over half a million passengers will use the underground upon completion. Currently the routes from Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd. to Sofia Airport and the section from “Mladost 1” to the Business Park in “Mladost 4” are under construction. Progress on both lots is estimated at 15-16%.

The Road Infrastructure Agency has announced that in the upcoming months three road projects will be completed. It is expected that the remaining 32km of Trakia highway will reach completion by the beginning of July this year. Lot 1 (Dolna Dikanya – Dupnitza) of Struma highway will be commissioned early - before the end of this month. Another project to be launched in the near future is the connection of Sofia’s ring road to Hemus highway. According to RIA, this venture will ease traffic on Bulgaria’s most congested road section with an estimated 25,000 vehicles a day passing in each direction. At this stage the physical progress is about 91% and is to be commissioned ahead of schedule in mid-July.

The meeting of the Monitoring Committee was attended by experts from the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications and the European Commission, representatives of both local and central government, NGOs, trade unions and others.

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