Bulgaria: By 2025, some 80 km of Hemus Highway could be done

Society | August 21, 2023, Monday // 10:56|  views

There is a chance that the construction of the "Hemus" highway will continue this fall and that another 80 km will be ready by 2025.

This was said on Monday morning on Nova TV by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Andrey Tsekov.

"The truth is that this highway is an extremely telling example of how highway construction should not be done. Its completion was commissioned through in-house procedures in 2018 and 2019 for nearly 3 billion leva. For the last 2 and a half years, Hemus has not been under construction. No one from the Agency Road Infrastructure has had the courage to look at the facts. There are 2 possibilities - one is for the state to take the risk, lose the distributions in the amount of over 1 billion leva, lose some court cases that will drag on for about 3 years, or look for a way to fix the committed violations so that it continues the construction according to the already concluded contracts. The state is led into a legal trap", he claims.

According to Tsekov, section 1 of the highway is 76% ready, and sections 2 and 3 - about 40%. Technical projects were prepared for sections 4 and 5.

According to him, most of the highways in Bulgaria look like a broken puzzle. Therefore - "as long as our main road network is in this condition, we cannot demand higher toll fees".

The current decision for "Struma" - to pass in one direction along the Kresna gorge, and in the other over it, is categorically not economical, the minister believes.

"We are looking for an opportunity to keep the current road as local and move the highway. The only option approved by the EC over the years was for a tunnel, which the state, however, gave up," Tsekov said.

For the first time, orders for winter maintenance and for ongoing maintenance of the roads have been announced on the basis of the lowest price criterion, which is the biggest guarantee that there will be free competition, claims Tsekov.

"At the same time, they are announced in the so-called reverse order, which means that after the deadline for submission of offers expires, all prices are opened. Ranking is in progress. The republican road network has 20,000 km, which means that in one area we have an average of 800 km of road network that should be maintained. The goal is to ensure that the contractor in question will eventually have enough experience and resources to support it," he added.

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Tags: Hemus, highway, Tsekov, road


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