The main part of the construction of the second Danube bridge between Bulgaria and Romania will be completed by the end of 2011, the Bulgarian Minister of EU Funds has announced.
Minister Tomislav Donchev visited the construction site of the bridge in the Bulgarian city of Vidin on Thursday where he stated that only finishing things will be left for the beginning of 2012.
The 2km Danube bridge, which is a key element of a European transport corridor connecting the German city of Dresden with Istanbul in Turkey, is designed to span over the river connecting Bulgaria's Vidin and Romani'a Kalafat.
Donchev has stated that the negotiations with the Spanish execution company FSS continue.
“Our position is firm and we insist on having a bridge as soon as possible ,not only because of the official deadlines we have with the European Commission, but also because we need the bridge,” Donchev said.
He added that there was a delay in the construction of the second Danube bridge and the most serious problem was the provision of quantities of soil needed for part of the embankment.
The EC has requested a letter indicating exactly how the problem with the earth soil would be solved.
“The financial and physical execution of the second Danube bridge is at 55%. There have been additional requests for funding by the execution company that are considered now. We will try not to make the construction more expensive. If that happens, we will try to keep it at minimum and not on the expense of the budget,” Donchev said.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, Ivaylo Moskovski, has noted that the construction of the infrastructure to the bridge significantly lags behind the bridge facility, with only 30% of it being constructed so far.
The project for the second Danube bridge will cost a total of EUR 226 M and the Bulgarian government has pledged to chip in more than EUR 60.7 M. Besides, it is also financed by loans and grants from the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency and the German Credit Institution for Reconstruction and Development.
At the moment, the only bridge on the 610km Danube section of the Bulgarian-Romanian border, links Russe in Bulgaria and Giurgiu in Romania by road and rail.