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Danube bridge 2 construction to start in April

Date: 29.02.2008

Construction on the second bridge across the Danube river between Bulgaria and Romania would start in April this year, Transport Minister Petar Moutafchiev told reporters on February 25 2008.

Moutafchiev's statement came before the scheduled meeting of Bulgaria's council on coordination, control and implementation of infrastructure projects of national significance, attended by Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev.

Spanish company FCC (Fomento de Construcciones and Contratas) has won the tender to develop the project that would link Vidin in Bulgaria to Calafat in Romania and also the road and rail infrastructure on the Bulgarian side. The firm would be paid 162 million euro for the works, while the total costs of the project, including construction on the Romanian side, was estimated at 236 million euro.

When completed in 2010, Danube Bridge 2 would become a part of European Transport Corridor IV between Dresden in Germany and Istanbul in Turkey.

Reports in Bulgaria over past weeks have claimed construction works would be delayed by four months to September 2008, citing different sources.

Simeon Evtimov, in charge of project development at the Transport Ministry, blamed it on problems with geological surveys and land expropriation, while transport minister Petar Moutafchiev had earlier put it down to differences between Bulgarian and Romanian laws.

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