Karadjov: Hemus in-house issues must be resolved quickly, otherwise the highway will fail

The first 52 km of the new sections will be ready by the end of 2024, for lots 2 and 3 the state owes BGN 34 million, said the Deputy Prime Minister

Industry / Bulgaria
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Source: Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works

52 km from the Hemus highway - first, second and third sections, from "Boaza" until the crossing with the road Pleven - Lovech, will be launched at the end of 2024. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Grozdan Karadzhov during an inspection of the highway route of Lot 3.

The three sections of the Hemus Motorway are in varying degrees of implementation and up to a year and a half for those traveling from Lovech and the region, the road to Sofia on the new highway will be shorter, said Minister Karadjov. The estimated opening of a construction site for sections 4 and 5 is in 2022, and for section 6 - in 2023. The goal is the construction of Hemus Motorway in the section from the road junction "Boaza" to the intersection with the first class road Ruse - Veliko Tarnovo to be completed by 2026.

Currently, the implementation of section 1 of the highway from the road junction "Boaza" to the road junction "Dermantsi", including the facility, is 65%. The progress of section 2 - between the road junctions "Dermantsi" and "Kalenik" is 14%. On section 3 - from the end of the road junction "Kalenik" to the intersection with road II-35, including the road junction "Pleven", 38% of the construction activities have been completed.

The state owes over BGN 34 million with VAT after deducting advances for activities performed on the construction of Lot 2 and Lot 3. There are no liabilities under the first lot. "It is important to resolve the issue of in-house contracts quickly and move forward. "Otherwise, there is a danger that the big dream, such as the construction of the Hemus highway, will turn into a fiasco," said Minister Karadzhov. He announced that in February he submitted operational information to the Council of Ministers and asked for assistance in resolving the case.

The Minister was adamant that the current repairs and maintenance of the national road network must be resumed immediately. The work of the commission, which checks each payment certificate, must be completed by the beginning of May. Until then, it must submit a report on whether the activities claimed for payment have actually been carried out and at what prices. When the results of the inspection are clear, payment to the companies can start. It can be done directly through the Ministry of Finance, explained the regional minister.

For 2022 priority sites for Lovech district are construction of the bridge over the river Vit near the village of Glozhene, repair of 37 km of the third class road Sadovets - Dermantsi - Toros - Glozhene, as well as preparation of a technological project for ongoing repairs of sections of the first road Yablanitsa - Gergov Khan, the second class road Leshnitsa - Kalenishki khans and the third class roads Lukovit - Dermantsi - Ugarchin - Mikre, Oreshak - (Debnevo - Velchevo) and Borima - Dalbok dol - Dobrodan station. They are included in the investment program for major and ongoing repairs in the district. This year a public tender will be announced for the selection of contractors for the development of technical projects for major repairs of road II-35 Troyan - Karnare in the section "Beklemeto" on the ridge of Stara Planina and construction of snow protection. The indicative value of the contract, the implementation of which will ensure year-round passability of the national road, is BGN 150,000 with VAT. Public procurements for the elaboration of technical projects are forthcoming for 30 km of the road Pleven - o.p. Lovech - Troyan - Karnare and road III-3504 Lovech - Radyuvene - Orlyane - Ugyrchin. A major overhaul of a facility on the third-class road Valchitran - Drenov - Doyrentsi in the village of Drenov, as well as on the bridge over the Beli Osam River at the beginning of the Shipkovo - Ribaritsa road is also envisaged. The permanent organization of traffic will be updated and a section of the road Koritna - Bulgarski Izvor - Mikre - Gabrovo border, which is 69 km long, will be secured.

Before Minister Karadzhov, the mayors of the municipalities of Lovech region raised the issue of the unfinished repairs of sections of the national road network since last year. The Minister stressed that precisely because of the unfinished nearly 280 sites across the country, it is important for the National Assembly to allow the Road Infrastructure Agency to complete them under existing contracts. On them are started 5 road sections in Lovech district with a total length of just over 74 km. The deadline for their completion is different, with the deadline being July this year.

During his working meeting with the mayors, Grozdan Karadzhov said that the serious imbalance between North and South Bulgaria is precisely because of the differences in infrastructure development. "Such imbalances are not typical of developed societies. The question of how to raise a region to develop faster depends on the connection with other regions, as well as the state with neighboring countries, "said the Minister.

"Without funding, it is difficult to maintain roads and maintenance became more expensive due to inflationary processes and materials. The case is similar with the water supply and sewerage industry, where the state also cannot actively finance projects that are in non-consolidated territories, "said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The lack of consolidation of the water supply and sewerage operators in the district is an obstacle for receiving funds from the European Union for the improvement of the water supply and sewerage services. The necessary investments for achieving compliance with the European directives of Water and Sewerage Infrastructure on the territory of the municipalities served by Water and Sewerage AD - Lovech is BGN 362.2 million, for the territory served by the municipal Water and Sewerage - Steneto EOOD, Troyan, BGN 64.5 million are needed, the Minister announced that the state policy for financing non-consolidated territories will be reconsidered and only the municipality that is not annexed will be without funding, so that not all settlements are punished.

During his meeting with the mayors of the district, the Minister again clarified the possibilities for financing municipal sites with the allocated BGN 500 million from the budget of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. This money will be provided for repairs of fourth-class roads and plumbing projects. "I believe that this is a step in the right direction, which will also support the decentralization process," said Minister Karadzhov.

There will be great investment opportunities under the new program "Regional Development 2021-2027". Lovech and Troyan are among the 40 urban municipalities that will be supported under Priority 2 "Integrated Territorial Development of the Regions" of the program. In general, it provides targeted support for the North-West region, which includes Lovech district, and the indicative budget package for the region accounts for 20% of the total priority resource (about BGN 550.1 million). This is the region with the largest planned resource under Priority 2 of the RDP 2021 - 2027. "This means that there is a need for great mobilization and activity on the part of local communities, which in this programming period will be able to actively participate in identifying projects," he said.

During his visit, in addition to the inspection of Hemus Motorway at the road junction on the main road Pleven - Lovech, Minister Karadjov and his team met with the Governor of Lovech Viktor Stoychev and the Mayor of Lovech Cornelia Marinova. MPs Lyubomir Karimanski, Iskren Arabadjiev and Vyara Emilova also took part in the talks.

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