Interim Govt Speeds Up Transport Projects
A revised work programme for the rapid completion of the flyover near Dimitrovgrad was asked by caretaker transport minister Nikolina Angelkova. Last the week she went to inspect how the modernization of the railway line Parvomai - Svilengrad is going on and promised to do everything possible the facility to be opened in October. "Half of the project activities have been completed. Among the problems are delayed building permits for some of the objects. I have already had a meeting with my colleagues from the Ministry of Regional Development and permits will be issued in the short term," said Angelkova.
The progress on the rehabilitation of Dimitrovgrad station, which is also part of the project Parvomai - Svilengrad stretch, was also checked. The repair of the building is divided into two stages, the first has been completed and three of the tracks are put into operation. Early next year the station is expected to be completed. It is part of the first lot of the project, covering the route between Dimitrovgrad and Harmanli. Works are worth a total of over 142 million levs and physical implementation is already at about 60 percent. Between Dimitrovgrad and Station Nova Nadezhda a nearly 3.5 km railway line has been built and put into operation and the end of December expects the completion of another 10 kilometres.
The second part of the project - from Harmanli to Svilengrad - was also inspected, and especially the railway bridges over the Maritsa River, the new railway track and the connecting network. The contract for construction was for over 122 million levs without VAT and the overall physical performance is about 45 percent.
The most problematic is the last lot, which covers the construction of traction substations in Simeonovgrad and Svilengrad and expansion of the existing one in Dimitrovgrad. Minister Nikolina Angelkova believes that the contractor - Start Engineering should make every effort to peed up the construction works. It is envisaged that the entire project be finished by the end of 2015 and this makes it one of the high-risk projects of the Transport Operational Programme.
The highway from Sofia to the border with Serbia experiences a stir last week. Chaired by the Deputy Minister of Regional Development Angel Petrov the National Expert Council of the Ministry of Regional Development approved a land lot plan of the route. The meeting adopted also a detailed plan that needs to be approved formally by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Ekaterina Zaharieva. The document will enable the expropriation procedures to start, as well as the design and construction. Yet on May 21, Road Infrastructure Agency announced a tender for a contract to build a 31.5-kilometre highway. It has an indicative price of 200 million levs, without VAT, the money will come from the new edition of the Transport Programme. The order is divided into two lots. The first lot, which starts from the Kalotina checkpoint zone will be 15 km long, and ends at about 1100 meters after the junction with Dragoman. The second lot will be 17 km long and its end will be about 1400 meters after the overpass over the railway line Sofia-Kalotina.
The fate of the highway is still not quite clear. In early August, the Commission for Protection of Competition issued a decision in which a bunch of violations were described at the opening of the tender procedure. Proceedings before the competition authorities was filed by a candidate from the building companies: BSA Investment Engineering."