Bulgaria, Romania agree fees for Danube Bridge 2

Written by on June 10, 2013 in Business - No comments

Cars will be charged six euro to cross Danube Bridge 2 between Bulgaria and Romania, while the fees for lorries will reach as high as 37 euro, according to the draft regulation posted for public discussion by Bulgaria’s Transport Ministry.

The fees have been agreed with Romanian authorities. Bulgaria and Romania signed on May 30 an intergovernmental agreement to create a joint venture that will manage the bridge.

The same fees will be charged regardless of the direction of traffic (from or into Bulgaria) – unlike at the Rousse-Giurgiu bridge, where fees entering into Bulgaria are smaller than in the opposite direction.

Cars and mini-vans, as well as cargo vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes in weight, will be charged six euro or 12 leva to cross the bridge. The fee will rise to 12 euro (or 23 leva) for cargo vehicles with a weight between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes, as well as mini-buses (with up to 23 seats).

Cargo vehicles with a weight of between 7.5 tonnes and 12 tonnes will be charged 18 euro (or 35 leva); buses with more than 23 seats and three-wheeler lorries weighing more than 12 tonnes will pay 25 euro (or 49 leva). Four-wheeler lorries will pay the highest fee – 37 euro (or 72 leva) to cross the bridge.

The bridge between Vidin on the Bulgarian bank of the Danube River and Calafat in Romania has already been completed and is ready for use, reports in Bulgarian media said last month. The official opening has been scheduled for June 14 and will be attended by Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta and European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn.

The idea to build a second bridge over the Danube between Romania and Bulgaria has been proposed for years, but ran into funding difficulties as the two countries dealt with the economic ramifications of transition to a market economy in the 1990s.

Construction became feasible when the EU agreed to provide funding. In the end, the bloc financed a third of the construction costs through its pre-accession aid instrument Ispa, with the final costs at 300 million euro.

Although the bridge was initially to be completed by the end of 2011, the European Commission agreed to extend the deadline by one year, allowing the two countries to use Ispa funding instead of having to foot part of the rising costs themselves.

(Main photo, of Danube Bridge 2 in March 2013: ionutp)

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