The Bulgarian government will grant BGN 16 M from the 2011 budget for the construction of a small section of the traditionally neglected Hemus Highway, the only highway project for Northern Bulgaria.
The new 10-km section of Hemus will go from the city of Shumen in western direction toward Sofia to the village of Belokopitovo, Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov announced in the northeastern city of Shumen on Saturday.
Djankov revealed that the Regional Development Ministry has already even selected a company to build the new section of Hemus, and that the construction works will start in the spring of 2011.
Currently, only 34% of the Hemus Highway have been constructed – that is, 145 km out of a total of 423 km.
The Hemus Highway is supposed to connect Sofia and Varna on the Black Sea through a shorter route than the southern Trakiya Highway (443 km), passing by several major northern cities – Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, and Shumen. At present, however, only the start section from Sofia to Yablanitsa and the end section from Shumen to Varna have been completed.
The Borisov government recently said it would seek EU funding for the highway for the period 2014-2020, and that it plans a new branch of the Hemus Highway from Veliko Tarnovo to Ruse on the Danube.