Bulgarian Minister Hopes for Hemus Highway Funding by 2011

2010-08-27

I hope that Bulgaria will have a clear agreement on the construction of the Hemus Highway within a year, said Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev Friday, reports the Bulgarian National TV. Plevneliev was present at the launch of EU Operational Programme Regional Development in Bulgaria, celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony on the road connecting the northeastern city of Dobrich with Kardam the Romanian border where BGN 5 M will be used in the next 3 months to renovate 16 km. Bulgaria will reconstruct 300 km of roads for a total of BGN 130 M under the program. Recently Plevneliev revived the idea for building the frozen Hemus Highway, set to connect capital Sofia with Varna on the Black Sea, passing through northern Bulgaria. He said that money from the European Regional Development Fund can be used for that. Friday Plevneliev reminded that since Hemus is not part of the Trans-European Network it cannot be financed with EU road funds, so there are two options the Regional Development Operational Programme, or public-private partnership. He said that his ministry and the cabinet as a whole should be bracing for hard work and promised to do so. Plevneliev estimated the cost for Hemus Highway at EUR 1.1-1.3 B. Plevneliev added that if work is being done properly, by 2020 Bulgaria might have 7 completed highways.