New stretch of motorway to benefit motorists and residents in south-west Bulgaria

The construction of the Struma motorway promises to increase travel speed while improving safety. It also aims at boosting connectivity and bolstering economic development in the regions it crosses.

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Situated in south-west Bulgaria, the Struma motorway is providing motorists with a fast and safe trans-European connection. Its construction is benefiting over half a million local residents by cutting travel times. For example, the journey time between Sofia and Kulata is reduced by 40 minutes.

The project is also diverting traffic away from towns and villages, halting the noise and air pollution that previously affected residents. The engineering feat is essentially completing the motorway connection between Sofia and the border crossing with Greece at Kulata.

Four separate lots

The project is divided into four lots and encompasses the construction of a 68.5 km stretch of motorway (lots 1, 2 and 4) and the preparation works for lot 3, the remaining 63 km, which comprises tunnels crossing the ecologically sensitive Kresna Gorge. These preparations include preliminary design, environmental analyses and overall project management.

The Struma motorway is 29 m wide with two traffic lanes in each direction - each 3.75 m in width. The motorway has two asphalt-surfaced lanes in each direction, two 1.25 m hard shoulders, and a 3.5 m central reserve. The speed limit is 120 km/h.

Improving the EU's trans-European network

The project is part of the European Union's initiative to improve the trans-European network for transport, the so-called TEN-T programme. This particular stretch of road lies in Corridor 4 of the TEN T Priority Project 7 which aims to improve the road and rail network of South-Eastern Europe.

It is estimated that 694 jobs will be created during the implementation of the project and construction of the Struma motorway.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Struma Motorway, Lots 1, 2 and 4 and preparing lot 3” is EUR 342 549 725, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 274 039 780. The project is funded through the priority “Development of road infrastructure along the Trans-European and major national transport axes” of the “Transport” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. 


Draft date

15/10/2013