The European Commission (EC) has approved an investment of more than 183 million euro from the Cohesion Fund for building 33.403 km of the new Europa Motorway within the section linking the Kalotina checkpoint at the Bulgaria-Serbia border with the ring road around Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, the EC said on February 3.
“This will contribute to better integration of the Bulgarian road system into the European transport network,” the statement said.
The project is financed under Transport and transport infrastructure operational programme 2014-2020.
The investment falls under the priority “Development of road infrastructure along the ‘core’ and ‘comprehensive’ Trans-European Transport Network”.
The motorway has a design speed of 110 km/h and is built to carry heavy traffic. The road is 27 m wide, with two lanes in each direction and a 3 m central reservation.
Of the 33.403 km, a 16.947 km section is already in use and constitutes a modernisation of the existing I-8 road. This section includes two junctions near Slivnitsa and connections with the III-811 road.
The remaining 16.456 km is under construction on a route that diverges from that of the I-8. It features a roundabout junction to the north of Kostinbrod and another to the south. Connections will be established with the I-8 and other roads linking Sofia, Kostinbrod and Kalotina.
Part of the core Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the I-8 between Kalotina and the Sofia ring road provides an important link to the TEN-T Orient/Eastern-Mediterranean Corridor.
Prior to the implementation of the project, it was a single carriageway road with two-, three- and four-lane sections.
The project will increase the road’s capacity, bringing it up to TEN-T motorway standards. As a result, safety and traffic flow should improve and constraints on overtaking will be eliminated, the statement said.
“By diverting traffic from urban areas, the motorway will reduce noise and harmful emissions, benefiting health and quality of life. It will also make the region a more attractive destination for investment,” the EC said.
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