Minister Tsekov: We have provided a front for work on all important strategic projects, the final route of AM "Black Sea" will be clear this year

The "Railway" tunnel is a unique and complex facility, we will open traffic through it on February 20, said the regional minister

Industry / Bulgaria
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"We have provided a front for work on all major and important strategic projects. It is under construction, during the winter season, understandably, the pace slows down. Last year we completed a section of the "Europa" highway, the last section of the highway is currently being completed, which will be fully completed at the end of the year. On the Vidin - Botevgrad highway, we are about to release 13 km of the Makresh - Bela road, under construction between Vidin and Makresh, and the issuance of a construction permit for the three sections between Ruzhintsi and Montana. In March, we will start the construction of the Ruse-Byala highway. On "Hemus" construction will resume from the first to the third lot to Pleven, and in the middle of the year it is expected that the construction permit will be ready in the section between Pleven and Veliko Tarnovo. On February 20 this year, the "Zheleznitsa" tunnel - part of the "Struma" highway - will be opened for traffic.

This was announced by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Andrey Tsekov, BNT reported. These are just some of the strategic objects that are being worked on, besides them there are many smaller ones that are undergoing major repairs.

The "Railway" tunnel will be launched in three days

"Zheleznitsa" tunnel will be opened for traffic on February 20. The tunnel is a unique facility, with all modern systems for protection and intelligent traffic management," noted Tsekov and added that the tunnel has complex facilities, a 540-meter viaduct, safety and travel protection systems, evacuation exits, a ventilation system, helipad and others.

"The tunnel is built according to the Austrian model, the rock mass above the tunnel tubes is integrated as a structural element above the tunnel. The viaduct in front of the tunnel is also based on a new method with subtact pushing. Altogether this facility is very interesting from an engineering point of view. The tunnel is safe, it is the longest built in our country - it has modern protection systems, with an evacuation system, a very modern ventilation system, fire alarm, SOS system for sending signals for possible danger. A helipad was also built near the tunnel. With the "Zheleznitsa" tunnel, Bulgaria will have a full-fledged corridor to Greece," said Minister Tsekov.

It is important that Bulgaria has full connectivity along the North-South axis.

"At the moment, 5 or 6 highways are being built or designed", Andrey Tsekov summarized and added that the design of the highway between Gueshevo and Dupnitsa has already been commissioned, this year there will be a choice of the final route and the Black Sea highway.

BGN 120 million have been secured this year for the design of key sections, including the "Veliko Tarnovo - Makaza" highway, it became clear from the minister's words.

Andrey Tsekov is adamant that Bulgaria must have normal connectivity and full-fledged corridors for the movement of people, goods and raw materials with neighboring countries, and the main task of his team is to secure these strategic objects that improve the development of our country.

On the occasion of the changes in the Territorial Planning Law, the minister explained that these texts affect several major infrastructure projects, including the "Trakia" highway between Chirpan and Stara Zagora, which section was executed without construction documents, the major repair of the "Echemishka" tunnel, the highway water pipeline from the Yastrebino dam to Omurtag, the first section of the Struma highway.

"These are constructions without or with incomplete construction documents", emphasized Andrey Tsekov and added that the idea of the changes in the law is to check such objects within a limited time and, if they meet the technical standards, to put them into operation. The other option is if there is an opportunity to renew them, and if they cannot be brought to safe conditions of use - to remove them.

"The work of a minister is supra-party, a legislative solution to the problem is necessary," said the minister. He specified that a site without the full set of construction documents is not necessarily corrupt, but it is possible.

"If a building without construction documents meets all the requirements, it means that there is no evidence of corruption in the case. But if there are detected deviations, this can speak of unexercised control and putting the population in danger, and it is very likely that there is also an element of corruption. Illegal and corrupt are two different things - one is an administrative violation, the other is an obvious crime, they are often related," said Tsekov.

The regional minister added that the state has for a long time turned a blind eye to a number of problems and did not resolve them, thereby putting people in danger. He gave an example of the provision of water for the city of Omurtag, where for 30 years the then rulers turned a blind eye to an illegal water supply and people did not have access to drinking water until recently.

On the topic of renovating residential buildings in the interview, the minister once again informed that 756 buildings were approved for renovating at the first stage of the program, with the resource for this being BGN 1.129 million for 100% grant funding. Over 1,300 buildings remain on the reserve list and they can participate in the second stage - with a 20% co-payment. The deadline for submitting documents has been extended until February 29.

On the occasion of the possibility of replacing the EGN, the regional minister again explained that the law provides such an opportunity when errors are detected in two cases - in case of wrong date of birth or wrong gender. According to GRAO data, from the creation of the registration system until February 14 this year, 94,547 changes to the EGN were registered.

About BGN 800 million are the total revenues from vignettes and tolls for last year, it became clear from the minister's words. He announced that this year, in order to break the previous monopoly of service providers, two more operators are expected to join, bringing the number to four.

"The work of the minister is supra-party and he must carry out such actions that improve the way of life of the citizens, and in regional development sustainability is the most important", the regional minister concluded in the conversation.

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