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BGN 250 M needed for tunnel to connect North and South Bulgaria

Date: 27.02.2008

The construction of a tunnel under the Shipka Mount in the central part of the Balkan Mountain will cost about BGN 250 M.

This became clear at an expert meeting in the mountain city of Gabrovo in central Bulgaria to discuss the realization of the planned infrastructure project, which is supposed to improve dramatically the transport connections between northern and southern Bulgaria.

The forum was attended by members of parliament, district governors, representatives of the Council of Ministers, mayors, and businessmen.

The construction of the Shipka Tunnel has been planned in the EU programs for 2013-2015 as part of the Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 9.

The meeting in the city of Gabrovo launched an initiative to speed up the construction of the infrastructure project, which according to the experts is of national significance.

Yasen Ishev, Director of the Planning and Control of Road Infrastructure Department at the Ministry of Transport, assured the participants at the meeting that the Shipka Tunnel was a priority project in the general infrastructure plan to be approved in May.

The idea for the tunnel under the Balkan Mountain has a 100-year old history. It is especially important for the city of Gabrovo, which is currently burdened with the bulk of the north-south traffic in central Bulgaria since the alternative Hainboaz Pass is closed for repairs.

The meeting on Monday decided the first step for accelerating the construction of the Shipka Tunnel should be the setting up of an initiative committee of citizens and experts. According to the participants in the forum, the funding could be provided through a public-private partnership and a concession.

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