Better road link to the Black Sea

A modern motorway stretching 356 km from the Bulgarian capital Sofia to the Black Sea coastal town of Burgas is in the final stages of construction. Under a new project part-funded by the EU, work will focus on completing the final missing link.

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The road’s last section, measuring some 115 km, runs from Stara Zagora to Karnoba in the east of Bulgaria. Once completed it will make road transport in the south-eastern part of Bulgaria faster, safer and more efficient.

Final section to be built

Started several years ago, the A1 Trakia Motorway runs in an east-westerly direction, linking Sofia with the Black Sea. It forms a part of the Trans European Network Transport Corridor VIII between Albania and Macedonia to the Bulgarian ports on the Black Sea.

Already completed sections of the motorway now in operation include Sofia to Stara Zagora in the west, and Karnobat to Burgas in the east. The new project will complete the remaining 115-km section of the motorway, with work divided into three parts and starting in May 2010.

The first part measures 31.8 km and runs from Stara Zagora to Nova Zagora; the second is some 35.7 km long, from Nova Zagora to Yambol; and the third part is some 47.7 km from Yambol to the town of Karnobat. The motorway width is standard 29 m, featuring a roadway 15 m wide.

Work under the project includes construction of motorway sub- and superstructure, plus major infrastructure such as five road junctions, 10 bridges, and dozens of road and rail overpasses and underpasses. Other work will include the relocation of public utilities, safety and environmental protection measures and eight symmetrically placed service/rest areas.

Easier and safer travel

Expected benefits of the project include higher travel speeds (from 68 km/h to 105 km/h) and a reduction of travel time of some 48 minutes on average along this whole section. There should also be a significant decrease in the number of road accidents, by a factor five, and a decrease in the number of road casualties (nine times fewer fatalities, seven times fewer seriously injured).

The main beneficiaries of this new infrastructure will be the motorway’s users and regional population. Transit traffic should be diverted away from many towns and villages that currently suffer from noise and air pollution, and unsafe traffic situations. Road transport across south-eastern part of Bulgaria will also be improved. The nation’s Road Infrastructure Agency will be responsible for maintaining the newly built infrastructure, financed by income raised by vignette fees collected by the Ministry of Finance and State budget funds.

Draft date