Ongoing road works on the major thoroughfares into Sofia raised the prospect of long traffic jams for thousands of motorists expected to leave Bulgaria’s capital city for the upcoming three-day weekend.
Both the Trakia and Hemus motorways – the former linking Sofia to Plovdiv, Bourgas and southern Bulgaria; the latter crossing northern Bulgaria on the way to Varna – were undergoing maintenance work on stretches within 10k of Sofia city limits, which were expected to cause large traffic congestion.
Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova told Bulgarian National Television that the road agency and traffic police were working to ensure minimum delays, but called on motorists to show “patience and tolerance”.
Traffic police were expected to be posted at the most congested areas to direct traffic both on May 1, when the peak of traffic out of Sofia was expected, as well as on the afternoon of May 3, during the peak of inbound traffic.
Some increase in inbound traffic to Sofia was also expected on May 6, when Bulgaria celebrates St George’s day. Unlike previous years, the government did not decree a six-day holiday between May 1, when Bulgaria celebrates Labour Day, and May 6, but it was widely expected that some people would take days off to take advantage of the two public holidays in close proximity to each other.
The long weekend was expected to be warm, with daily highs exceeding 20C in most of the country, although some areas in southern and eastern Bulgaria could see rain on Saturday and Sunday, weather forecasts said.
(Photo: Bart Groenhuizen/sxc.hu)