Bulgaria's government announced Wednesday the tender for the construction of Lot 1 of the Struma Highway running along the major route between Bulgaria and Greece.
The Lot 1 section between Dolna Dikanya and Dupnitsa is 17 km; EUR 68 M are slated for its construction from EU and state funds.
The deadline for selecting a company to construct the road, and a supervisor is July 2011.
"We expect an eager competition among the bidders where they offer competitive prices," Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev stated upon announcing the tender.
The government is expected to start with two weeks the tender for the construction of Lot 4, a 15-km section from the town of Sandanski to the Kulata crossing point on the Bulgarian-Greek border.
Lot 2 (from Dupnitsa to Simitli, 45 km) and Lot 3 (from Simitli to Sandanski, 60 km) will be harder to build because of the rough terrain, and the Borisov Cabinet has made it clear it plans to complete Lots 1 and 4 by the end of its term in 2013, and to have made progress on the other two.
Struma Highway will be a priority for the Bulgarian government in 2011 because of the importance of the traffic and economic ties with Greece, and because it is a part of Pan-European Transport Corridor No. 4 (from Central Europe to Thessaloniki and Athens via Vidin and Sofia).
The Struma Highway starts at the Daskalovo road junction to the west of Sofia, where it will be connected with the short Lyulin Highway, and will run to the Kulata border crossing on the Bulgarian border with Greece. Some of the sections of the 156-km road are promised to be completed by the end of the Borisov Cabinet's term in 2013. A total of 19 km have been completed so far.
The European Investment Bank will also facilitate the Bulgarian Hemus Highway's inclusion in EU's structural funds, according to the Bulgarian PM.
In January, the European Investment Bank vowed funding for Bulgaria's share in the Nabucco gas transit pipeline, the Struma Highway, the Black Sea Highway, the Hemus Highway, the second Danube Bridge with Romania, railways, waste plants and other projects. /Source: Sofia News Agency/