Bulgaria, Romania Launch Danube Bridge 2, 'Crossroad Link with Europe'

Business | June 14, 2013, Friday // 18:17|  views

The 1.8 km Danube Bridge 2 is a key element of a European transport corridor connecting the German city of Dresden with Istanbul in Turkey. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria and Romania launched Friday the long-anticipated Danube Bridge 2, describing it as the countries’ crossroad link with Europe.

"This wonderful, beautiful facility, the newest bridge over the Danube connects the people on both sides of the river. But it also brings them closer to Europe, turning the town of Vidin into a crossroad link in our relations with Europe,” Bulgaria’s parliamentary speaker Mihail Mikov said at the opening.

Bulgarian Patriarch and Sofia Bishop, Neofit, led the liturgy for the inauguration of the facility.

Danube Bridge 2, linking Vidin in Bulgaria and Calafat in Romania, is part of the Pan-European transport corridor IV.

The total value of the project is EUR 282 M. Of them EUR 106 M came from EU funds and the rest were national financing and private investments.

The project was started in the late 1990s, but was stalled multiple times.

The only other existing bridge between the two Balkan neighbors, Danube Bridge 1 linking Ruse-Giurgiu, was completed in 1954.

In February 2013, officials stated that Danube Bridge II would be inaugurated on May 9, the Day of Europe, but the ceremony was postponed.

The final section of the bridge was finished in October 2012 and the entire construction between the Bulgarian and the Romanian Danube shores was connected. It was announced earlier that the infrastructure has been completed as of the end of August 2012.

Over 415 000 vehicles are expected to pass through the bridge in its first year of operation – 186 000 cars, 20 000 buses, 209 000 trucks as well as 4 745 trains – 730 passenger and 4 015 freight ones. Their number is expected to reach 8 504 by 2030.

The facility will pay off in 12 to 15 years, according to Bulgarian authorities.

The bridge is 1.8 km long and has four lanes, a railroad, a sidewalk, and a bike path.

There is a cross border checkpoint as well.

The toll is the same as the one in Ruse – from EUR 6 to EUR 37, depending on the type of vehicle.

There are no fees for pedestrians, bikers, fire trucks, ambulances and police cruisers.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Traian Basescu, Silistra, Calarasi, Danube Bridge, Romania, Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, Calafat, Vidin, Romania, Johannes Hahn, viktor ponta, Danube Bridge 2, Danube Bridge 1, Plamen Oresharski, Neofit, Mihail Mikov, Danail Papazov


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