The northwestern Romania city of Oradea, located close to the border with Hungary, has attracted EU financing of over EUR 80 million for various projects, Ilie Bolojan, the city’s mayor, announced.
The city plans to use the funds to build three underground passages, enlarge one of the city’s bridges so as to accommodate a tram line, and expand its public transport network and fleet, including with hybrid buses, among others.
“We have finalized the evaluation of these projects, we received the field visit last week. The European projects are now in the pre-contracting phase. We estimate that we will sign all these financing contracts by the end of the month,” mayor Bolojan said.
One project that will receive funding is that of a mobility corridor between the city’s Gojdu Square and the Vasile Alecsandri Street. The corridor project covers the building of an underground passage between the Orthodox Cathedral and the Culture House. The square in the area will become a pedestrian area and the cars will cross it underground. The project of the underground passage amounts to RON 95 million (EUR 20.3 million). At the same time, the Vasile Alecsandri street will be finalized, within a RON 5.2 million project (EUR 1.15 million). The third project in the wider mobility corridor project entails the purchase of four hybrid buses, with an estimated value of RON 10.9 million (EUR 2.3 million). Overall, the mobility corridor project has a value RON 111.2 million (EUR 23.8 million), of which 2% will be covered by the Oradea City Hall.
Another project is that of a mobility corridor between Gojdu Square and the Fortress’ Square. This project entails the building of an underground passage at the city’s Big Square, estimated at RON 33.6 million (EUR 7.2 million). Another investment is a Park & Ride parking, estimated at RON 35.8 million (EUR 7.6 million). The parking lot will be entirely financed from the local budget. At the same time, a power station serving the tram network will be modernized with RON 4.6 million (EUR 987,124), and 6 hybrid buses will be purchased with RON 16.3 million (EUR 3.4 million). The second mobility corridor project amounts to RON 90.4 million (some EUR 19.3 million).
A third set of projects concerns the expanding of the Dacia bridge to six lanes, so as to accommodate a tram line crossing the bridge, and the building of an underground passage in the area of the Continental Hotel. The combined value of the projects is of RON 25.8 million (EUR 5.5 million). The city’s tram network will also be expanded in the University area towards the Cantemir area, as part of a project amounting to RON 66 million (EUR 14 million). The sum covered by the local administration on these three projects amounts to EUR 1.1 million.
Furthermore, the City Hall plans to use EU funds to purchase 10 more trams, amounting to RON 88.7 million (EUR 19 million). The local contribution to this project is of 2%.
Last but not least, part of the EU funding will go towards a series of projects in underprivileged communities. The City Hall plans to develop a day center at the Ion Slavici school, with RON 6 million (EUR 1.2 million). It will also pave three streets in the Gutenberg area, using RON 1.5 million (EUR 321,888).
The works to enlarge the Dacia bridge and at an underground passage in the Continental Hotel - Magheru Blvd. area are currently in the process of being awarded. The mayor estimated that the works would start in the spring of 2019. Bolojan apologized to the residents of Oradea for the upcoming traffic disruptions. He explained “such projects are done once every couple of decades and I think the long-term gains will be greater than the inconvenience of a season or two.”