This week, the construction permit for the first 7.6 kilometers of the Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo highway was finally signed. The news was announced by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Andrey Tsekov before the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Policy, Public Works and Local Self-Government.
At the moment, the procedure for its promulgation in the State Gazette is underway, and the actual construction is expected to start within two weeks at the latest.
The total indicative value of the order was over BGN 987.2 million without VAT, but when the price offers of the companies were opened, it became clear that they significantly exceeded it.
Although the two selected consortia submitted the lowest price offers, the engineering of the autobahn exceeded BGN 1.5 billion, i.e. kilometer will cost about 20 million BGN.
The highway is divided into three lots. The public tender for the first two lots (the Ruse – Byala section and the bypass of Byala with a total length of 76 km) was launched already in 2020, but contractors were selected only in 2022.
The EU granted us millions for the construction of the Sofia – Skopje railway line and the Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo highway
The funds are from the “Transport Connectivity” program
The deadlines for the preparation of the technical projects for the rest of the two sections of the highway between Ruse and Byala and the bypass of the town of Byala are March and April 2024, after which the procedure for issuing a construction permit will be entered for them as well.
“In the budget for 2024, BGN 1 billion has been earmarked for highways. BGN 100 million have been pledged for the completion of the “Hemus” motorway, which is not enough. The funds will be sufficient to complete the construction of Lot 1 and to continue work on Lots 2 and 3“, said the regional minister, quoted by BNR.
He emphasized that the Ministry of Finance will allocate additional funding if the work activities on the highways go according to plan.
“At least another 500 million BGN will be needed to make me feel at ease that there is money for all the highways,” Tsekov added.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment, work is being done on the Vidin – Botevgrad expressway, the Struma highway, the Hemus highway, the Ruse – Byala highway and the Europa highway. If this problem is solved, construction will return to its intense pace, commented the regional ministry.
In the budget for 2024, BGN 122 million has been earmarked for the design of road sections, including BGN 7.2 million for geological surveys and the selection of a new transport route between Asenovgrad and Rudozem.
It is expected that the public contract for the design will be announced in early 2024, the minister also said in response to a question about the construction of an expressway to connect the highway Trakia and Smolyan through Chepelare.
In September last year, the Council of Ministers decided to declare the future highway from Ruse to Veliko Tarnovo a national site.
The declaration of the highway as a national site should facilitate the procedures for approving the Detailed Development Plan (DDP) of the route, as well as lead to faster expropriation procedures for land plots and increase investment opportunities.
The motorway is part of the most important North-South transport corridor, with significance not only for Bulgaria, but also for the whole of Europe.
The government has decided to declare a future highway a national site
An amendment to the extension of the third metro diameter in Sofia was also approved