A total of 15 Bulgarian and foreign companies have applied in the tender to build Lot 4 of Bulgaria's southwestern Struma Highway, the Road Infrastructure Agency announced upon opening the bids.
The applicants are from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Turkey, Bulgaia's Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev announced. Their number is the second highest number of bidders for a highway section in Bulgaria after earlier this year 17 companies competed for one of the lots of the Maritsa Highway.
The 15-km Lot 4 of the Struma Highway - the future road that is supposed to link Sofia with Kulata crossing on the Greek border - is estimated to cost about EUR 53 M. Its construction will be funded from the EU Operational Program "Transport" and has to be completed in 25 months.
The Lot 4 section runs from Kulata-Promachonas to the southwestern Bulgarian town of Sandanski.
The Bulgarian government is planning to select one of the 15 companies by the end of October and to have it start the construction by November 2011 if there are no appeals.
The construction of Lot 4 of the Struma Highway will also have a positive effect on the Sofia-Kulata railway because it will necessitate a change of the route of a 3.3-km railroad section.
The new railway route will be transferred to a straight section that will allow the trains to go at a speed of 160 km/h, which is about the highest speed that can be reached by trains in Bulgaria. (Source: Sofia News Agency)