Bulgaria, Romania Sign MoU for Building Two New Bridges Across DanubeBusiness | October 28, 2014, Tuesday // 16:50| views
Bulgaria's Transport Minister Nikolina Angelkova. Photo BGNES
Bulgaria and Romania on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for conducting feasibility studies for the construction of two new bridges across the Danube.
Bulgaria’s Transport Minister Nikolina Angelkova, on a visit to Bucharest, and Romania’s Regional Development Minister Liviu Dragnea signed the document that will be the basis for the building of the bridges between the two EU neighbours.
A bilateral working group will be formed by the end of next week to launch preparations for the construction of the briges, including a timetable for the different stages of project implementation and indicative dates for the launch of construction works.
One of the planned bridges will link Bulgaria’s Nikopol with Romania’s Turnu Magurele, while the other one will connect Silistra and Calarasi.
Southern Romania and northern Bulgaria badly need infrastructure works, and these works can be completed by accessing European funds and national resources, but particularly through cooperation between the two countries, Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta said after the signing ceremony.
Preparatory works on the two projects will be financed under Bulgaria-RomaniaCross Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. Angelkova said earlier this month that after the memorandum was signed and a joint application form was filed in 2015, the design development and cost-benefit analysis would be drawn up.
According to Angelkova, the two countries will most likely seek a Public-Private Partnership model for the construction of the new bridges.
The two countries, which joined the EU in 2007, have stated their intentions to build as many bridges as possible across their 500-kilometre Danube border to attract much-needed investment to their poverty-stricken areas along the river.
The new bridges over the Danube are expected to cost an estimated EUR 200-250M.
Two bridges across the Danube currently connect Bulgaria and Romania – one between Ruse and Giurgiu opened in 1954, and another one between Vidin andCalafat built in 2013. Nearly half a million vehicles had crossed the Danube using Vidin-Calafat bridge in one year since it opened for traffic on June 14, 2013.
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