Regional Devt Head to Repair 3000 km God-Forsaken Roads in Bulgaria

Business | June 13, 2011, Monday // 19:06|  views

Regional Development Minister Plevneliev with a map of Bulgaria's largely delapidated road netwok in the background. Photo by BGNES

More than 3 100 km of Bulgarian roads, most of which have not been touched in 30-40 years, will be repaired under 76 projects of the Road Agency, Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev announced.

Plevneliev, who is the Bulgarian official with the highest public support, spoke Monday on the rehabilitation of the first-, second-, and third-class roads in Bulgaria.

In his words, 35% of the roads in Bulgaria are in a bad condition, 25% - in an "average condition", and 40% are in a good condition, and that the percentage of roads in a bad condition grew three times compared with 1984.

He mentioned the road between the towns of Batak and Dospat in the Rhodope mountains, which has not been repaired in 40 years.

The 76 projects of the Road Agency for the rehabilitation of 3 100 km of roads will be funded with money from the EU, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, and Bulgaria's state budget.

Plevneliev emphasized that in 2009, there were repairs of only 550 km of roads.

"If we count in the new construction under the EU Operational Program "Transport", this means that the Road Agency will invest BGN 1.1 B in Bulgaria's roads in 2011, while between 2001 and 2009, it had only between BGN 200 M and BGN 350 M," he said.

In his words, the government has managed to save BGN 192 M from the rehabilitation of roads under the EU Operational Program "Regional Development", which has a total budget of BGN 500 M for Bulgaria, and that the saved funds will be used to repair 22 more road sections.

According to Lazar Lazarov, member of the board of the Road Agency, the budget funds will be used for the roads in Northeastern Bulgaria since the Transport operational program has no projects there.

The management of the Road Agency further said the Trakiya Highway between Sofia and Burgas is likely to be completed in full by the end of 2012.

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Tags: European Investment Bank, EIB, World Bank, EU funds, EU operational programs, Dospat, Batak, road repairs, rehabilitation, Road Agency, Regional Development Minister, Rosen Plevneliev, Trakiya Highway


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