BTA News

Ruse-Giurgiu Danube Bridge Overhaul Begins July 10

The overhaul of the Danube bridge between Ruse and Giurgiu will start on July 10, Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency announced on Tuesday.

The repair will be launched at 10 a.m. in the buffer area of the Danube Bridge Border Checkpoint, Zone West, and from 11 a.m. journalists will be able to take pictures of the facility from a ship and get additional information.

Construction will be performed daily, for 10-12 hours per day, during daylight, without complete stoppage of traffic. Vehicles will be let through by stages in the carriageway where work is not carried out.

The building works will go through six stages. At stage one and two, the trestle of the bridge on Bulgarian territory will be overhauled. A 400 m stretch will be closed to traffic for this purpose. Traffic on the inbound carriageway to Bulgaria will be restricted first, followed by the outbound carriageway to Romania. Repair work in this section is estimated to take approximately four and a half months for each carriageway.

For better routing, traffic will be controlled by traffic lights. The lights can be moved to the portion of the bridge under repair. Because of the width and height of the facility, safe nighttime work is impossible, and the life and health of the road users and the builders is paramount. If some activities can be carried out safely without daylight, they will.

The 1,057 km long Bulgarian section of the Bridge, which is part of the I-2 Road, has not been overhaulded since its commissioning in 1954, i.e. for 70 years. The joints were reinforced more than 22 years ago, and the waterproofing and asphalt surfacing was replaced in 2011. According to the technical design for the overhaul of the facility, the asphalt layers, panels and waterproofing will be entirely replaced, new crash barriers will be installed, new road markings will be applied, etc. The overhaul project has been contracted to the Danube Bridge Civil-Law Company. The contract cost is BGN 44,877,228.68 inclusive of VAT. Under the contract, the construction works must be completed within 730 days. Construction supervision will be performed by anther civil-law company, Danube Bridge-PII-Strol, at the cost of BGN 848,400 after VAT.

Caretaker Regional Development and Public Works Minister Violeta Koritarova reported recently that a building permit for the overhaul had been issued. The bridge is in an emergency critical condition and poses a tangible risk to its users. The BGN 45 million repair will take two years, with measures to minimize inconvenience to traffic on the facility, Koritarova’s Ministry said.

In early July, Bulgaria declared its full readiness for a resumption of the operation of the Ruse-Giurgiu ferry link. The project is key to easing traffic between Bulgaria and Romania and cut the crossing time, in view of the forthcoming repair of the Danube Bridge, Bulgarian Transport and Communications Minister Georgi Gvozdeykov said at a meeting with Koritarova and Romania’s Ambassador in Sofia Brandusa Predescu. Koritarova said that her Ministry had counted over 200,000 motor vehicles crossing the Ruse-Giurgiu bridge in May. Earlier this month, Koritarova commented that the ferry link can handle 20% of the heavy-duty truck traffic, enabling tourists to travel more comfortably.