Romania’s 121km-long Craiova-Pitesti express road is on target for a 2024 opening, according to the National Company for Road Infrastructure Management (CNAIR).
The highway, which is costing nearly €1 billion (US$1.15 billion), will include 10 junctions, 75 bridges and passages, 26 uneven junctions, four services areas, four short-term parking spaces and three maintenance hubs.
Cristian Pistol, general manager of CNAIR, noted that work on section two is on schedule which should help the completion date to be reached in time.
The DEx12 in southwestern Romania was previously numbered the A12. It runs from Craiova up to Slatina and then meets the A1, a major north-south trans-European route, at Pitești.
Romanian media reported in March that the European Commission will contribute €726 million to the construction of the Craiova-Pitesti expressway which is part of the trans-European transport network. The new highway will improve traffic in the region where the average driving speeds are below 60kph and the number of fatal accidents is 5.8% above the national average.
Romania-Insider.com noted that the Craiova - Pitesti road is also known as the Ford Highway because it’s development is one of the promises the Romanian government made to US carmaker Ford to convince it to invest more money in its Craiova factory. Ford currently produces two SUV models in Craiova, the EcoSport and Puma, which are mainly sold in Europe.
Five consortia submitted bids for the project in mid-2013. Offers were submitted by a consortium formed by Romanian companies such as Spedition UMB, Tehnostrade and Vectra Service. The other four consortia that filed bids are: Obrascon Huarte Lain/ OHL ZS (Spain), China Communications Construction Company/Dogus Insaat Ve Ticaret (Turkey)/EGIS Projects (France), Impregilo/Salini (Italy) and Strabag (Austria)/Vinci (France)/Aktor (Greece).
Meanwhile, last summer Austrian contractor PORR Construct was awarded Lot 4 for the Pitesti-Sibiu highway project, a deal worth more than €342 million.