All of Bulgaria’s motorways and major national roads are open, the Road Infrastructure Agency said on December 17, a day after heavy snowfalls blanketed much of the country.
More than 600 snow-clearing machines had been deployed on the national road network last night, the agency said.
Because of the heavy snowfall of the past 24 hours, vehicles of more than 12 tons were restricted from using the Prevala and Troyan passes.
The Road Infrastructure Agency reiterated that drivers of heavy goods vehicles and passenger cars should embark on journeys only if the vehicles were fitted with suitable tyres.
Motorists should drive at reasonable speeds and with caution, and obey traffic police instructions, the agency said.
Vehicles not prepared for winter driving blocked other traffic and made it difficult for snow-clearing vehicles to do their job, it said.
Regional road offices and snow-clearing companies were operating in 24-hour mode and were ready to maintain the national road network, the agency said.
On December 16, there were problems on Bulgaria’s Struma Motorway because the contractor was tardy in clearing snow. The agency said that the company would be sanctioned, without specifying what this sanction would be.
The “Code Yellow” warning of potentially dangerous weather was issued for six districts in Northern Bulgaria on December 17: Gabrovo, Lovech, Pleven, Razgrad, Turgovishte and Veliko Turnovo. Snow cover of about 10cm was forecast.
Sofia municipality said that snow-clearing companies had worked through the night to clear streets in all parts of the Bulgarian capital city. Public transport stops as well as underpasses had been cleaned. During the day, the teams will monitor dangerous and steep streets and treat them again if necessary, the municipality said.
In Rousse, visibility was about 100 metres because of fog. In the Shipka region, visibility was about 150m, Bulgarian National Radio reported on the morning of December 17.
(Photos: Bulgaria Road Infrastructure Agency)