Bulgaria to Restore E-79 Road to Greece by Thursday

Business | December 10, 2010, Friday // 13:00|  views

An aerial view of the section of the E-79 road from Sofia to Greece, which collapsed into the rising Struma River in the Kresna Gorge. Photo by BGNES

The main road connecting Bulgaria and Greece, E-79, will be restored in Thursday, the Director of the Bulgarian Road Infrastructure Agency, Bozhidar Yotov, has announced.

The torrential rains in Southwest Bulgaria last weekend led the Struma River to rise by five meters in the Krasna Gorge, some 120 km south of Sofia, causing a landslide that undermined the road, which collapsed into the river; a truck with its driver bringing gravel for the repairs has vanished into the raging waters.

Yotov, who visited the most damaged parts of the road late Thursday, has stated that over 15,000 cubic meters of rock and sand have been used so far for rehabilitation of the road. He added that the work does not stop even during the night.

Only the bad weather could be an obstacle to the work. However, the company responsible for the rehabilitation thinks that they could complete the work in time.

In the next few days, a work group of experts will visit the other damaged parts of main road E-79. The goal is to prevent future incidents because the rising of the level of Struma River could potentially cause new damages to the road.

The Bulgarian police have redirected all traffic to Greece to the only close alternative route – through the Predela Pass and the Bansko winter resort and the town of Gotse Delchev to the Ilinden-Exochi crossing into Greece, which means going all the way around the entire Pirin Mountains.

However, this route has become more dangerous because of the Thursday snowfall. The police have warned drivers to be extremely cautious.

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Tags: E-79 road, greece, Ilinden-Exochi, Struma river, Gotse Delchev, Southwest Bulgaria


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