Repairs to stretches of two major Bulgarian motorways in critically bad condition will begin on April 20 and most repairs will be completed by July 1.
This emerged after an inspection of the motorways on April 17 by Regional Development and Public Works Minister Liliyana Pavlova and Road Infrastructure Agency chief Lazar Lazarov.
The inspection was done two days after the cabinet approved an additional 100 million leva (about 51.1 million euro) for repairs to parts of the Trakiya and Hemus motorways this summer.
Initially, it was expected that the repairs would continue throughout the summer, but Prime Minister Boiko Borissov asked that no repair work be done in July and August, peak summer holiday season when traffic along Trakiya Motorway, which links to Sofia to Bourgas, and Hemus Motorway, which links the capital to Varna, is at its busiest.
A timetable for repairs had been drawn up to ensure that almost all the repairs were completed by July 1.
However, the exceptions are two major bridges, where work will take a longer time. One will re-open on August 1 and the other will remain closed until the end of the year.
Pavlova said that work on repairing the two facilities had begun during the previous term of the Borissov government, which was in office from 2009 to 2013, but no work had been done at the time of the 2013/14 “Oresharski” administration.
Pavlova said that one of the bridges, at Eleshnitsa on the Hemus Motorway, had been closed to traffic at the end of January because it was in extremely dangerous condition. She said that the bridge had been built in 1979 and brought into use in 1980, and since then had not been repaired.
Earlier, at the beginning of April, special speed limits of 90km/h – instead of the standard 140km/h – were brought into effect on parts of the two motorways in the worst condition.