Bulgaria signs Shipka Pass deal

The PSVT consortium picked up the Shipka Pass Tunnel project as part of the bypass for Gabrovo City, a town of around 50,000 situated on the Yantra River.
Finance & Funding / June 17, 2022 1 minute Read
By David Arminas
Shipka Pass Tunnel will be part of the bypass around Gabrovo City (image courtesy of Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency)

Bulgaria has 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.

The PSVT consortium picked up the project which is part of the bypass for Gabrovo City, a town of around 50,000 situated on the Yantra River and in the geographic centre of the country. It is known as an international capital of humour and satire and also for being the longest town in Bulgaria, stretching 25km along the Yantra and at in places only 1km wide.

Construction of the bypass higher up the narrow valley has been going on for several years.

The state Road Infrastructure Agency said four bids were received for the project, with the lowest coming from the PSVT consortium, led by firms Patni Stroezhi and Veliko Tarnovo.

Last year it was reported that the bid meant PVST would take a 34 per cent interest in the project while local consortium partners Hydrostroy and Patinzheneringstroy-T would each take 33 per cent.

Funding for the project will come from the Bulgarian government’s Transport Connectivity 2021-2027 Operational Programme.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarian transport ministry said that Bulgaria and Romania are discussing details for erecting five bridges over the River Danube. Bulgaria reportedly will begin dredging works along parts of the river this month at a cost of around €7.7 million. A joint application by Bulgaria and Romania for EU funding for engineering works on the river will also be made.