Road and rail development to drive central Europe

By Sarah Ann McCay10 April 2014

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are to each receive EU funding for road and rail works as the central European economies look to drive economic growth through infrastructure development, according to market research firm PMR.

PMR said Bulgaria’s construction market was on the way to positive growth yet again, after a consolidation period in 2011 to 2013.

Civil engineering is expected to lead the construction market in Bulgaria. A total of €5.6 billion is to be invested in constructing 800km of motorways and 900km of expressways by 2020.

A number of railway projects got underway this year, including the modernisation of the line between Stamboliyski-Plovdiv, as well as the Septemvri-Pazardzhik part of the Septemvri-Plovdiv line.

PMR said Bulgaria was expected to secure even more funds from the EU for further rail works for 2014 to 2020.

And it said the Czech Republic was to start seeing the rewards of a number of civil engineering construction projects launched in 2013, as work started in 2014.

It said roads and railway development would lead this growth, as work began on a government-approved nationwide strategy of infrastructure improvements, which would see an annual spend of at least €2.6 billion by 2020.

PMR said the biggest investments in this sector were the €600 million repair of the D1 motorway between Mirocovice and Kyvalka, the construction of the €460 million Prague bypass road and the construction of the R35 expressway section between Opatovice-Ostrov, which is set to cost €430 million.

It said Brno was to get a new railway station and overhaul of the area, at a cost of €800 million, while a further €960 million was to be spent modernising the line between Brno and Prerov.

And Slovakia is set to receive €3.9 billion in EU funds for transport infrastructure works between 2014 and 2020, according to PMR.

It said €850 million was to be spent on rail construction while €1.6 billion has been allocated to road construction. In addition, Slovakia is to receive €743 million from the EU’s new Connecting Europe Facility fund.

In 2013, the Slovak Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development set out plans to fund future road infrastructure construction.

By the end of 2015, PMR said it wanted to have contracted all the road infrastructure work covered by the EU funding programme 2014 to 2020.

Between 2015 and 2020, the Ministry aimed to have construction underway, including work on the D1 motorway between Bratislava and Kosice.

Additionally, by 2016, repair work is set to have started on 1,040km of class I roads, while works will have finished on 834km.

In railway construction, PMR said there were four projects underway in Slovakia, the largest of which was the modernisation of the Ilava-Belusa section, which is scheduled for completion in April 2015.

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