The contracted funds under Operational Programme on Transport and Transport Infrastructure 2014 – 2020 are 831 million EUR, which represents 44 % of the budget of the Programme. That stated the Head of the Managing Authority of OPTTI, Eng. Galina Vasileva in a workshop under the Programme in Stara Zagora.
Under her words, 9% of the funds or 171 million EUR have been paid to the contractors at the present stage. In process of approval by the MA are 11 project proposals, among which is the second phase of the project for rehabilitation of Plovdiv-Burgas railway line. 22 Application forms have been approved at the moment, 6 of which for investment projects.
Galina Vasileva commented that the three projects, phased by OP on Transport 2007-2013 have been already completed. They are the second stage of the construction of Western Arc of Sofia Ring Road, the extension of the Sofia metro from MS “James Boucher” to MS “Vitosha“ and the project for improvement of the navigation along Danube River. Vasileva added that there has been already delivered in Ruse city, the newly constructed hydrographic ship, ownership of Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of Danube River and after the performance of the necessary test examinations, it will be placed into service.
Six big projects are set for implementation under the Programme, which represent 89% of the overall budget. They are second phase of the project for rehabilitation of Plovdiv-Burgas railway section, with estimated value of 350 million EUR, modernization of Elin Pelin-Kostenets railway line (460 million EUR), Lots 3.1 and lot 3.3 of Struma Highway and Zheleznitsa Tunnel, for which was signed a contract for 378 million EUR and the project is being implemented. Regarding Lot 3.2 of Struma Highway, Galina Vasileva indicated that the report on the environmental impact has not still been submitted to the MEW. It is expected to be done in several days and then to start the public discussions. In the best case, the construction of this section of the highway may start in May 2019.
Galina Vasileva said that the construction of the third metro line is being implemented with very good pace and there is expected shortly to start the construction of the second stage, which includes 4 new metro stations from Ovcha Kupel suburb to Gorna Banya suburb. There will be constructed connection with the railway line for Pernik.
There is expected very soon to be announced several tender procedures for the railway projects, implemented by the National Railway Infrastructure Company, commented Vasileva. They are the biggest beneficiary under the Programme and must implement projects for over 1 Billion EUR – 673 million EUR under OPTTI, and over 400 million EUR under the Connecting Europe Facility, pointed Vasileva. The forthcoming procedures will be for design and construction of signaling and telecommunications along Plovdiv-Burgas railway line, reconstruction of the tracks in Sofia Central Railway Station, repair of the permanent way and catenary along the Sofia Central Railway Station-Voluyak section; modernization of Elin Pelin-Kostenets railway section, with 52 km length and Kostenets-Septemvri section, with approximately 25 km length.