No Proper Highways In Sight For 2011

06.02.2011 ZF English

The year 2011 has so far been “rich” in terms of Romania’s road infrastructure, but only as far as tenders organized in the past few months are concerned. The national motorways and roads company put up for tender 183 km of highway on the Paneuropean Corridor IV. However, 2011 is not expected to be a good year in terms of highway inaugurations, writes BUSINESS CONSTRUCT magazine.

At the beginning of the year the highway company announced it would inaugurate 83 km of highways this year, and another 34 km of highway-grade beltways. We are not even halfway into the year, but the company has gone back on its earlier plans, saying not even one kilometer would be finalized.

At present there are only seven sections of highway under construction, to which another 60 km are added, but where work is stagnating for the time being because the contracts were terminated.

At BUSINESS CONSTRUCT's request, the road authority supplied updated information on the stage of each of the construction sites and the conclusion is that Romania will not have new highways this year, with only partially completed works.

While some contracts were terminated, which would in theory free up funds for a few months, others are valid, but do not go ahead because they lack funds.

There will be no proper highway to speak of from Bucharest to Constanta this year, firstly because the Cernavoda-Medgidia section is currently on stand-by, after the contract with its construction company Colas was terminated. In addition, there will only be one lane open for traffic in either direction on the Medgidia-Constanta section.

Transilvania highway, which has seen only 52 of 415 km finalized, i.e. 12.5%, continues to lack funds, although the roads authority has so far made payments of 5.2 billion lei (EUR1.2 billion) to American company Bechtel, the construction company that is building the road.

In other words, one km of the Transilvania highway has cost the state RON100 million (EUR23.8 million), with only one section, covering 64 km (Suplacu de Barcau-Bors), being under construction theoretically. Why only theoretically? Because in fact the Transport Ministry has not allocated any funds for this road this year. (EUR1=RON4.1342)


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