Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Wednesday will be paying a working visit to the bridge over the Danube at Calafat-Vidin, at the invitation of his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov, the Romanian Government’s Press Office reports.
Also attending the event will be European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn and Romania’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Ovidiu Silaghi.
The works on the bridge incumbent on Romania are currently 95 percent over, the office reports. The initial deadline for the completion of the bridge was December 2010, but because the feasibility study conducted by Bulgaria was different from the similar study initially conducted by the Bulgarian designer of the bridge, the bridge had to be redesigned, including the works on the Romanian side.
The works carried out by Romania had to be suspended because the deadline for the completion of the Bulgarian side of the bridge had been extended, as the related in structure could not be fueled by power and the tests on the related railway portion of the bridge could not be conducted, the Romanian Government explains.
The delays of the Bulgarian workers also led to an increase by more than 5 million euros in the bridge costs incurred on Romania that included costs with the conservation works, site works, security and the extension of consultancy services. The costs had to be borne from the national budget.
As far as the legal framework for the bridge is concerned, the Romanian Government says the decision to build the Calafat-Vidin Bridge was taken under an agreement between the Romanian Government and the Bulgarian Government on technical, financial legal and organisational matters pertaining to the construction of a mixed road and railway border bridge between Romania and Bulgaria over the Danube, signed on June 5, 2000 in Bucharest.
In accordance with the provisions in the framework agreement, Romania pledged to provide funding for the technical project and for building the related infrastructure on Romania’s soil.
Bulgaria was to secure funding for the preliminary project of the facility – the bridge proper and two related infrastructure systems running to the connection points with the existing road and railway infrastructures of Romania and Bulgaria, required for the construction of the bridge, including the technical project and the construction of the related infrastructure on Bulgaria’s soil, which also included the conduct of an environmental impact study.
According to the joint obligations of the two contracting parties, each party was to provide the land for the bridge that was to be exempted from real rights or other ownership rights from third parties, including over the existing facilities and installations related to the bridge, and also to facilitate access to the bridge, in accordance with the construction schedule.
The Romanian Government also mentions that Romania has secured the funding for the technical project and the related infrastructure that provides access to the bridge on Romania’s soil and the initial funding was 70,591,324.7 euros, 66,900,285.7 euros of which were for construction works, to which additional amounts were added to make up for the delays of Bulgaria.