Bulgaria's Europe-2022 consortium has started work on the final part of the Europa Motorway, to link Sofia to the Kalotina on the border with Serbia.
The Europe-2022 consortium, which includes the Bulgarian civil engineering group Glavbolgarstroy, has the a €136.5 million contract to build the last 16.5km of what will be the nearly 65km-long A6 Europa Motorway. At the border it will connect with Serbia’s A4 Motorway.
The A6 Europa Motorway was called the A6 Kalotina Motorway until the Bulgarian government officially changed the name in 2018. It is also part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
Other members of the consortium include GBS-Infrastructure construction and the local company Obonato Build. Another consortium, called Europe, has been awarded a €2.86 million construction supervision contract. The investor group comprises Bulgarian companies Patinvest-Engineering, Stroynorm and R G Konsulting.
The final stretch should be ready within 18 months, according to the regional development minister Ivan Shishkov. He added that the start of the construction process had been crucial to prevent the loss of EU structural funding.
The A6 Europa Motorways includes the capital Sophia’s 13km-long Northern Bypass Highway – also called the Sofia Northern Speed Tangent. It was opened in section between 2015 and 2016.
In February, the European Commission approved an investment of more than €183 million from the Cohesion Fund for building the Kalotina-Sophia link, including the capital’s ring road.
Last June, Bulgaria awarded a design-build contract worth around €186.4 million (US$200 million) for the Shipka Peak Tunnel in the Balkan Mountain range. The tunnel will be of the north-south I-5 highway and run under Shipka Peak, rising 1329m above sea level in the Bulgaria’s Balkan Mountains and within Bulgarka Nature Park. I-5 follows European route E85 from Ruse to Haskovo.