site.btaEuropean Commission Approves EUR 183 Mln for New Europe Motorway to Serbia
The European Commission (EC) has given approval for the construction of nearly 33 km of the new "Europe" motorway in the section connecting the Kalotina checkpoint on the border with Serbia and the Sofia ring road. The investment of EUR 183 million from the EU Cohesion Fund will contribute to better integration of the Bulgarian road system into the European transport network, the EC said Wednesday.
The project is funded under the Operational Programme Transport and Transport Infrastructure 2014-2020. The motorway has a design speed of 110 km/h and is built for heavy vehicles as well. The road is 27 metres wide, with two lanes in each direction. Of the total 33.4 km, a 17 km section is already in operation and is an upgrade of the existing I-8 road. This section includes two junctions near Slivnitsa and connections with the III-811 road.
The remaining 16.4 km are under construction along a route that deviates from that of I-8. It has an interchange north of Kostinbrod and another to the south. Connections will be made to I-8 and other roads connecting Sofia, Kostinbrod and Kalotina.
Part of the main Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), I-8 between Kalotina and the Sofia ring road provides an important link to the TEN-T Orient/Eastern Mediterranean Corridor. Prior to the project implementation, it was a single-lane road with two-, three- and four-lane sections.
The project will increase the capacity of the road, bringing it in line with TEN-T motorway standards. As a result, safety and traffic flow are expected to improve and overtaking restrictions will be removed. By diverting traffic away from urban areas, the motorway will reduce noise and emissions, which will benefit the health and quality of life of locals. It will also make the region a more attractive destination for investment, the EC said.