Bulgaria motorway funding approved

By Helen Wright27 February 2013

The European Commission (EC) has approved an investment of €274 million to help fund the development of the Sturma motorway in the Yugozapaden region of south west Bulgaria.

The project is situated along the Trans European Network for Transport (TEN-T) Priority project 7 and concerns the construction of a dual carriageway between Dolna Dikanya (south of Sofia) and Blagoevgrad (lot 1 and 2) and from Sandanski to the border crossing with Greece at Kulata (lot 4).

The total combined length of these three sections is 68.5km and is due for completion by the end of 2015. The project also foresees the preparation of the more complex construction of the Blagoevgrad-Sandanski section (lot 3) in the budgetary period 2014 to 2020, which will consist of tunnels bypassing the Kresna gorge.

Bulgaria has been allocated €6.85 billion from the Cohesion Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund for the period 2007 to 2013. The co-financed Transport programme accounts for some €1.6 billion, of which €744 million of the Cohesion Fund has been ear-marked for motorway construction.

European Commissioner for regional policy Johannes Hahn said the Sturma project would improve the region’s competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

“As well as creating the right conditions for growth and job creation, it also means safer and more sustainable infrastructure for the citizens of Bulgaria and the entire internal market,” Mr Hahn said.

Two other sections of the Struma Motorway were completed in 2011 – the 19km Liulyn Motorway and the 22km Daskalovo-Dolna Dikanya section.

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