The European Commission said it has approved a contribution of 274 million euro ($358.3 million) under its operational programme Transport for the construction of Bulgaria's Struma motorway.
As the motorway is a so-called "major project" with a total investment above 50 million euro, it is a subject to a specific decision by the Commission, whereas otherwise projects are approved at national or regional levels, it said in a press release.
The construction of the major infrastructure project in southwestern Bulgaria, which links the capital Sofia with the Kulata crossing at the border with Greece, is estimated to cost a total of 342 million euro.
"Besides providing a faster and safer trans-European connection for EU motorists and carriers, over 600,000 local residents are expected to benefit from shorter travel times, better environmental conditions and connectivity, increasing the attractiveness of their region to business and investment," the Commission said.
The Struma motorway, a part of pan-European transport Corridor IV, has a total length of 173.28 km.