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Jan 25, 2024 17:34 EEST
January 25 (SeeNews) - The European Commission has approved 6.9 million euro ($7.5 million) in funding for a joint feasibility study by Bulgaria and Romania on the construction of a second bridge over the Danube between Ruse and Giurgiu, the transport ministry in Sofia said on Thursday.
The project's total budget amounts to 13.7 million euro, with the remaining funds to come from the two countries' budgets, the transport ministry said in a statement.
The planned two-kilometre bridge will serve as a dual-purpose road and railway facility, with 15 kilometres of connecting infrastructure to be built in each country, along with a direct link to the Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo highway, which is under construction. The location and financing method for the bridge will be determined based on the results of the study, the transport ministry noted.
Bulgaria and Romania are expected to sign an agreement with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency for the funding by mid-2024, while the project's parameters should be defined by 2026.
The two countries submitted a joint proposal for the feasibility study to the European Commission in September, seeking funding from the Connecting Europe Facility. Bulgaria said back then that it would contribute 1.4 million euro to the project, with up to 50% expected to be covered by EU grants under the Connecting Europe Facility.
The project is of strategic importance for the entire region due to the increased traffic between the two countries and the expected rise in cargo flow in view of Ukraine's future recovery, the ministry said.
Bulgaria and Romania are connected by two bridges - between Ruse and Giurgiu, built in 1954, and between Vidin and Calafat, completed in 2013.
($ = 0.9180 euro)
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