Bulgarian Minister Confesses Violations in Lyulin Highway

Business | February 1, 2011, Tuesday // 15:59|  views

Experts have stated there were many violations in the engineering of Bulgaria's Lyulin highway. Photo by BGNES

Prosecutors will check Bulgaria's Lyulin Highway after the Minister on Regional Development, Rosen Plevneliev, confessed there were violations in its engineering.

In his words, the Bulgarian Road Infrastructure Agency has provided prosecutors with full access to data for the Lyulin Highway since the first day of its construction and they are working on it, the Bulgarian News Agency reported.

"It is not a matter of one thing. The prosecutors are probably working on several things. We want to know everything and we will fully cooperate with them," Plevneliev said Tuesday.

He has pointed out that even though the work on the construction of Lyulin Highway has been accelerated lately, "no one has given orders or made premises so that the construction workers do not do their job properly."

The Bulgarian daily "Trud" has reported that the prosecutors had found severe violations in the highway, which is supposed to be open in May.

Besides the engineering, the experts have also checked the construction, tunnels, underpasses and overpasses, as well as the construction supervision of Lyulin Highway.

The initial project envisioned over 2800 m retaining walls, but most of them were dropped out during the engineering. They were replaced by safety nets, which do not cover the safety requirements and which could be a serious threat to people's safety, according to the prosecutor Stoil Toychev.

Other experts have also stated that the construction of Lyulin Highway has poorer quality than the sector of the international E-79 road, which collapsed at the end of 2010 after torrential rains hit the country.

The Lyulin highway is expected to be open from the city of Pernik to Sofia by March 15.

Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov announced earlier the road will be open for use between January 10 and 15, 2011. Experts from the Road Infrastructure Agency extended the deadline to make sure the highway corresponds to all safety requirements.

The construction was pushed last year, after the EC threatened that Bulgaria will lose the ISPA program funding.

The project cost was first estimated at EUR 148.4, which includes EUR 111.3 funded by ISPA. In 2010, the cabinet gave an additional EUR 43 M, after the Turkish contactor, Mapa Ghengiz, asked for compensations for the delay, caused by the State over infrastructure technology and expropriation of private lands.

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Tags: E-79 road, experts, Mapa Cengiz, prosecutors, Prosecutor's Office, Road Infrastructure Agency, Rosen Plevneliev, Lyulin highway


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