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Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, the Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski and the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova inspect the construction of the underground

21 November 2014 A+AA-

Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, the Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski and the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova inspect the construction works on the extension of the underground in the section from Mladost 1 to the Business Park in Mladost 4.

“I hope to get approval for the new Operational Program “Transport and Transport Infrastructure” 2014-2020”, said Minister Ivaylo Moskovski. Over 700 million lev from the program will be allocated to the underground and the section from James Baucher station to Vitosha station whose construction has already started will be financed.

Answering a journalist’s question Ivaylo Moskovski said that Hemus highway had not been crossed out as a priority, but the European commission insists on including the construction of Lot 3 of Struma highway by 2020 in the road sector as a priority. The indicative value of the project is currently 750 million euros and envisages a tunnel through the Kresna Gorge.  Due to the significant value and level of difficulty of the project there has been an alternative option which goes along the already existing road. The preliminary evaluation shows that this can save up 250 to 270 million euros. The environmental impact assessment and the technical design of the two projects will be done simultaneously and will be ready by the end of 2015. The final decision will be made following the discussion with the stakeholders and the EC so as to choose the appropriate option that will consider the financial, technical and environmental factors.

In case there are finances spared from Struma highway, they will be allocated to Hemus highway and the tunnel under Shipka peak. Currently the two projects are part of the strategy for the implementation of OPTTI 2014-2020, but they can be included in the corresponding priority axis only after the exact financial parameters for the construction of Struma highway are set. The European Commission considers their significance for Bulgaria but they need additional financial resource to be implemented. At this stage the national budget cannot commit to additional expenses but other financing options will also be discussed.

“Personally I, as a Head of the Managing Authority of OPT, worked towards the inclusion of Hemus highway in the scope of the program. Thanks to that now we have a project in an advanced stage of preparation. The main issue with the negotiations with the Commission is that we have committed to construct the highway by 2020-2022, and now we would need the whole available financial resource for road projects in the program”, clarified the Minister.

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