Another 24 km of Struma Motorway are Ready

Another 24 km of Struma Motorway are Ready

17 Dec 2018 | 14:22

In implementing the government programme and in line with the priorities we have set, Struma motorway is now 24 km longer, said the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Petya Avramova at the opening of the new motorway section. The ceremony was attended by members of the Parliament, the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rosen Zhelyazkov and mayors. 

Minister Avramova delivered the Certificate of Commissioning of the motorway section to the Chairman of the Management Board of the Road Infrastructure Agency – Engineer Svetoslav Glosov. Ms Avramova noted that this gives all Bulgarian citizens, visitors, and those transiting the country the opportunity to travel safely.

The Regional Development Minister announced that 25 large facilities, 3 road junctions and 4 rest areas with public toilets and TIR parking lots were built on this section of Struma Motorway from Kresna to Sandanski. In the future, restaurants and service stations may also be built on the motorway section.

Petya Avramova expressed her gratitude to the builders for their efforts, which made the use of the motorway section possible five months in advance; she thanked also the Road Infrastructure Agency for the adequate administration of the process, and the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, for the partnership in completing Struma Motorway.

It is equally essential for Northern Bulgaria to have a motorway, therefore the BGN 1.35 billion in funds awarded several days ago for the construction of a section of the Hemus Motorway are just as important. We will continue our work on the vertical sections of Vidin – Botevgrad speedway, because we witnessed that Trakia Motorway gave a true boost to the development of Southern Bulgaria, said Minister Avramova.

The Regional Development Minister announced that the implementation of Struma Motorway section between Blagoevgrad and Krupnik has reached 40%. The tender procedures for the section passing through Kresna gorge are in progress. The contractors of the sections before and after Zheleznitsa tunnel are already selected. It is expected the contract for the facility to be concluded soon.

The teams are working hard, at accelerated rates because we use funds from the Operational Programme on Transport and Transport Infrastructure. We work in an active cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, said Petya Avramova before representatives of the media.

The Chairman of Management Board of the Road Infrastructure Agency – Engineer Glosov expressed the expectations that the Tender Commission for evaluating participants for the selection procedure on choosing contractors for the section at the Kresna gorge will do its job properly and promptly so that there will be no appeals. The design is expected to take about 6 months and after that the construction will start. We hope this will take place next year, so that the motorway shall be completed by the end of 2023, the Chairman added.

The Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rosen Zhelyazkov said that full confidence is present, while mobilisation of efforts is required so that in 2023 people could use an hour and a half to travel from Sofia to the border with Greece.

The Kresna – Sandanski section is part of the project Struma Motorway – Lot 3.1, Lot 3.3 and Zheleznitsa tunnel. It is co-financed by the Cohesion Fund of the European Union and the national budget under OP “Transport and Transport Infrastructure" 2014 – 2020.

With the construction of this section, a motorway will join Kresna and Kulata Checkpoint at the Bulgaria-Greece border, which will increase traffic safety and comfort and will reduce travel time.

Over 300 thousand tons of asphalt and 95 km crash barriers of the highest class were used for the construction of this section. The section includes 3 road junctions – Kresna, Strumyani, and Sandanski, 25 large facilities – bridges, a viaduct, an overpass over Sofia – Kulata railway, agricultural underpasses and overpasses.

Besides, 4 resting areas were built together with a complete infrastructure including car parking lots, water supply, sewerage, municipal waste water treatment plant, and mud-oil trap for the surface water sewer. For the first time the resting areas are quipped with everything necessary for rest and for commercial activity by the all residing in the region.

Kresna road junction will connect the new route of Struma Motorway with first class road
I-1/E-79 Sofia – Kulata. Strumyani road junction is the point of intersection of the motorway with third class road III-1081 Stroumyani – Berovo and it provides access of the residents of Strumyani, Mikrevo and 19 other small settlements in Strumyani Municipality to the motorway.

Sandanski road junction is in the industrial area of the town and will be the main transport thoroughfare to the town and to all 54 settlements of the municipality.

For the first time a motorway section project includes the construction of an Intelligent Transportation System featuring traffic counting and management stations, video surveillance, vehicles weight measuring stations and meteorological monitoring stations. Video traffic surveillance cameras are located at Sandanski and Stroumyani junctions, as well as at the rest areas. Traffic controllers in the control centre will monitor the traffic and where appropriate will redirect traffic by means of remote controlled road signs. Information boards were also installed. Four traffic counting stations were installed as well as two weight-in-motion stations measuring the vehicle weights as the vehicles drive over a measurement site. There are two meteorological monitoring stations in this section of the motorway that will record air temperature and humidity, precipitation type and quantity, the degree of visibility on the road, wind speed and direction, thickness of water layer on the asphalt, freezing point of the road surface depending on the treatment with lye and other chemicals, temperature of the road surface including 5 cm below the asphalt will also be measured. This data will enable us to forecast riming, snowing up or freezing on the road so that the snow cleaning companies will be informed of the necessity of treating the road surface.

For the purpose of biodiversity protection, special paths were made for reptiles, which pass through the culverts. A total of 17-km solid fence was also built to direct the reptiles to the specially designated passes under the motorway.

The contractor of Lot 3.3 is Consortium Struma Lot 3.3. The contract value is BGN 280 947 614.4 VAT included. Patinvestengineering EOOD is carrying out the construction supervision. Their contract is for BGN 3 597 793.54 VAT included.

The length of Struma Motorway from Daskalovo to the border with Greece is 150 km. The motorway is part of the Orient/East Mediterranean Corridor, connecting Vidin with Kulata, and serving as a route for the traffic to/from Greece. The road is used as the shortest route between Western Europe, Central Europe and the Aegean Sea, as well as a connection between Europe and Asia.

A total of 69 km of Struma Motorway were built with funds from OP Transport 2007-2013 including the sections Dolna Dikanya – Dupnitsa (16.78 km), Dupnitsa – Blagoevgrad (37,48 km) and Sandanski – Kulata (14.7 km). The construction of the rest of the motorway will continue with financing from Operational Programme “Transport and Transport infrastructure” 2014-2020.