After 70 years of operation, the major repair of the Danube Bridge at Ruse has started

10.07.2024 12:36
After 70 years of operation, the major repair of the Danube Bridge at Ruse has started

All possible measures have been taken to alleviate traffic

"The Danube Bridge is a key transport artery that not only connects Bulgaria and Romania, but is part of the cross-border transport corridor No 9 and plays a crucial role in European connectivity. The overhaul we are launching today is one of urgency that must and will be executed with high professionalism and responsibility. This was stated by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Eng. Violeta Koritarova. Today, it kicked off the overhaul of the facility. Among the guests at the ceremony were the Regional manager of Ruse Dragomir Draganov, the Mayor of Ruse Pencho Milkov, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Dimitar Nedyalkov, the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Romania Radko Vlaikov, the Consul of Romania Daniel Mazilu, the Chairman of the Board of the Road Infrastructure Agency Eng. Yordan Valchev, the Executive Director of "GBS Infrastructural Construction" Eng. Georgi Kichukov and other representatives of local and central government in both countries. 

Minister Koritarova reminded that the historic bridge has not been repaired since its construction 70 years ago.  She added that long before the start of the actual construction works, thorough analyses were made by the RIA and all precautionary measures were taken to ensure that traffic is not impeded during the active summer tourist season. Possible bottlenecks have been investigated and all measures have been taken to avoid them.

 "Thank you for your support and understanding of the need for the repair of our partners from Romania. I believe that together, with joint efforts, they will succeed and action will be taken as soon as possible to launch the Ruse - Giurgiu ferry link. Our estimates show that it will ease heavy traffic by between 20 and 30%, allowing Romanian tourists, who we value highly in our country, to move faster. Our understanding with Romania is a sign of good neighbourliness, cooperation and mutual assistance. As neighbours we should always rely on each other, and it is best to have a good neighbour", said Eng. Koritarov.

The Regional Minister assured that for better synchronization between all responsible institutions related to the repair and traffic, regular joint meetings will continue during the construction to coordinate their actions and timely information to all commuters if there is a change in the work schedule or if activities need to be carried out that require the closure of the entire bridge.

In his speech, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Romania Radko Vlaikov stressed the need for better connectivity between Bulgaria and Romania. He drew attention to the fact that currently there are only 2 bridges and 5 ferries on the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania. He underlined Commissioner Valean's view that the states had enough time to inform their citizens about the upcoming activities. After several postponements, the state of the bridge is now causing a danger of serious accidents and requires that repair works be started immediately, Ambassador Vlaikov said. And he expressed hope that his words will be conveyed to the Romanian side.

The Mayor of Ruse Pencho Milkov noted that the bridge is not just a transport facility, but an opportunity for a fraternal and friendly relationship between the people of Ruse and Giurgiu, between Bulgaria and Romania, which is felt to the strongest extent.

The construction works during the main repair of the Danube Bridge at Ruse will be carried out without stopping the traffic and will not close the facility. The site will be operated daily for 10-12 hours per day, during daylight hours. The work process will be organised and carried out so that vehicles will pass in a staggered two-way manner in the lane not being worked in. The works are planned to be carried out in 6 stages. In the first two is the major repair of the trestle of the facility on Bulgarian territory. A stretch of about 400 metres will be closed for the works. First, the traffic in the entrance lane to Bulgaria will be restricted and then the exit lane in the direction of Romania. The estimated time for completion of the repair works in this section is approximately 4 and a half months for each of the lanes.

For better traffic organisation traffic regulation will be carried out with adaptive traffic lights. It will be relocatable and can be placed in the relevant part of the bridge being repaired. The gauge and height of the facility does not allow for safe nighttime operations, and protecting the lives and health of commuters and construction workers on site is paramount. If the execution of some activities can be carried out safely during the dark part of the day, this will be done.

The route of the Danube Bridge on Bulgarian territory, which is part of the I-2 road, has a total length of 1,057 km. Since its commissioning 70 years ago, in 1954, no major repairs have been carried out. Joint strengthening was done more than 22 years ago and the waterproofing and asphalt pavement was replaced in 2011. The technical design for the renovation of the facility provides for the complete replacement of the asphalt layers, panels, waterproofing, new restraint systems, markings, etc. The contractor of the main reconstruction of the Danube Bridge is the DZZD “Danube Bridge”. The value of the contract is BGN 44 877 228,68 including VAT and the funds are from the budget of the RIA. The contract period for the works is 730 days. The construction supervision will be carried out by "Danube Bridge-PII-Strol". The value of their contract is BGN 848 400 including VAT.


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