MINISTRY OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASKS FOR EXTRA BGN100MN
The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works requested BGN100MN above the current year's subsidy for renovation of the republican road network from the 2005 draft budget. The announcement was made by Minister Valentin Tserovsky on October 18 when he visited the Hainboaz pass, accompanied by journalists. BGN290MN was allocated from the 2004 budget for repair of roads of first, second, third and fourth class across the country. The Council of Ministers launched additional BGN170MN from the 2004 budget surplus for repair of the national roads. Minister Tserovsky explained that these funds will help for avoiding delay of the payments to road cleaning companies. He also added that if the Hemus and Trakya highways were given on concession, the money planned for them will be used for repair and extension of the roads in the republican network. The reconstruction of routes alternative to the highways will be a priority task for the ministry next year. According to the requirements of the law, when travelling along the highways becomes paid (with the introduction of the toll system), the State must provide by-roads on which travelling will only require a paid vignette fee.The minister promised that the Pass of the Republic connecting Rousse with the Capitan Andreevo cross-border point would be open for traffic no later than November 30. Construction works will be finished by year-end, the director of the project in Hainboaz Pirin Penchev promised. However, the journalists did not share their optimism. Even some of the embankments were not yet finished. The laying of the asphalt paving is even in a worse condition. According to workers, in the best case the meteorological conditions will allow laying asphalt for two more weeks. The press centre of the ministry informed that over 50% of the road is expected to be essentially completed by the end of next month and the rest of it would be covered with incompact asphalt which would allow for recovering the traffic across the pass. The completion of the repair works is expected in the end of next May, the ministry explained.The repair of the segment connecting Veliko Tarnovo with Hainboaz and Gourkovo is part of the Transit Roads 3 project. It is divided into four segments of 30-km total length. About 30% of it is a new route, while the rest is subject to basic repair and reconstruction. The project is being implemented by two Bulgarian companies, Road Constructions - Plovdiv AD, and Binder AD - Sliven. Eighty kilometres per hour will be the highest speed allowed in the pass.The EUR14.7MN agreement for implementation of the construction works was signed in May 2002. The funds are provided by a state-guaranteed credit launched by the European Investment Bank (60%) and the budget. Segments 1, 2, and 3 from Veliko Tarnovo have a total length of 8 km. EUR1.8MN is provided for them. EUR12.9MN will be spent on the fourth segment which is 22 km long.