Criticism of “Struma” comes mostly from owners of 3-4 establishments that turned out to be illegal, said the minister of MRR
“Although the design deadlines are until 2024, I expect that in September there will be a ready investment project and a permit will be issued for the construction of part of the Ruse – Byala highway.”
This was said by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Arch. Ivan Shishkov in the program “Bulgaria in the Morning” on Bulgaria On Air TV.
“At the moment, the Road Infrastructure Agency has prepared the documentation for expropriations along the route,” the minister also announced, adding that the Detailed Development Plans were also approved, and the site was declared national.
The “Europe” highway is already being built in its entirety, it became clear from the words of the minister, who recalled that until recently this highway was a construction site in its part next to the Kalotina border crossing.
“We opened six kilometers to Kalotina, within seven or eight days, most likely, all traffic will be opened,” informed architect Shishkov.
He emphasized that for the last eight months, the official team of MRRB has approved the Detailed Development Plan of the “Europa” highway, since there was none, managed to process the expropriation of part of the route and issue a construction permit for the last lot of autobahn.
“It is not a matter of political dividend who will build how many roads. The important thing is to build qualitatively and to plan in order to have a perspective in the future to build all the roads as quickly as possible”, said the minister and added that until now there were no planned highways, and those that were started were actually ” Did you fall asleep”.
“There were highways that were not being developed. Therefore, the effort we have made is to enable the construction of entire highways very soon – just as the “Europe” highway is already being built, so the entire “Struma” highway should also be built, Ivan Shishkov also said.
Within a few months, it should become clear whether or not the European Commission approves the environmental measures for the passage of the Struma highway through the Kresna gorge, it became clear from the minister’s words. He informed that there is currently a correspondence on the matter and everything depends on the response of the commission.
“The issued permit for the construction of the road interchange near Kresna does not predetermine the choice of route,” the minister was categorical. According to him, if this construction permit had not been issued, the EIA would have been lost and the Struma highway would have gone back four years.
“The deadlines cannot be skipped, because the damage to the state will be great,” Shishkov was categorical.
If the European Commission confirms the EIA issued in 2017 and if it is proven that this option is the most ecologically sustainable, the construction of the highway will start along the route through the Kresna Gorge. If the answer is negative, the route will have to be changed, Shishkov clarified. And he recalled that the topic has been commented on for several years, an analysis has been made, the routes have been studied, including an option with a 15-kilometer tunnel, as well as a two-lane route outside the gorge. “Most likely, in the past, the current version was the most ecological,” suggested architect Shishkov.
He emphasized that one of the most important components was taken into account when choosing a route – noise. Therefore, if the two tracks are separated, as in the current version, the noise would be much less than if they were joined together.
“This option seeks a good technical solution along with preserving the nature and the financial part of the project,” the regional minister was emphatic.
He expressed surprise at the protests of representatives of the Kresna region that the Struma highway passes through the gorge.
“I didn’t hear much criticism about the environment. The criticism is mainly on the fact that three or four establishments will have a problem with their operation, which also turned out to be illegal. Regarding the rafting that is practiced there, I am also not convinced that their structures are legal and they are literally located in the river, i.e. we are talking about nature conservation. But nature is for everyone and we all have to protect it, not let certain people exploit it,” commented the minister.
In August, it is expected that the landslide at the “Zheleznitsa” tunnel will be partially strengthened and the traffic from Greece to Sofia will be allowed to go to one lane in the direction of Sofia, the regional minister also announced. He recalled that already in 2020, he found that there was a landslide in the section, but the regular government did not take the necessary measures for its timely strengthening. “That’s why we are now making sure there is a way to the tunnel,” Shishkov explained.
He also announced that an expert council has already approved amendments to the Detailed Development Plan for the roundabouts on the Mezdra-Botevgrad expressway and the construction of the specific road junctions is about to begin. 7.5 km of the route around the village of Novachene have already been opened.
Tags: waiting construction permit RuseByala highway September-