The Bucharest – Ploiesti highway, also called the A3, was officially opened on Thursday (July 19 ), even though parking areas and facilities such as gas stations have not yet been completed. The opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Victor Ponta and by former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, under whose mandate work on the highway started. The current PM announced penalties will be applied for the delays.
“A 60-kilometer highway does not necessarily need gas stations. I am happy the work is done, but I am sad that a relatively modest project, of 60 kilometers, took so long to be finalized,” said Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
The highway, started in 2007, was initially supposed to be complete by 2010, but its finalization was delayed several times. The A3 highway was built by two different consortia, Impressa Pizzarotti/Tirrena Scavi, which worked on the Bucureşti-Moara Vlăsiei segment, and Spedition UMB/Pa&Co Internaţional/ Euroconstruct ’98/ Com-Axa, that worked on Moara Vlăsiei-Ploieşti segment.
The total value of work was of EUR 450 million.
The Government announced that it would apply penalties of some EUR 3 million for the delay. The PM explained part of the delay was caused by the ‘smart guys’ who learned about the future highway track and bought multiple properties near it, asking for damage payments afterward. However, the Government announced expropriations to speed up work, as the land owners could sue the state after that.
The four-lane highway, two on each way, will allow for a maximum speed of 100 km per hour.
The Cernavoda – Medgidia segment of the Bucharest – Constanta highway, or the Sun Highway is also expected to become functional on Thursday, but only as a national road, with a single lane each way.
At the end of last year, Romania had 433 km of highways under construction, with a budget of some EUR 3 billion. Check the ongoing highway projects in this document.
(photo source: Transport Ministry)