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Danube Bridge 2 Construction Delayed By Four Months

Construction on the second bridge across the Danube river between Bulgaria and Romania would be delayed by four months to September 2008, Bulgarian radio station Darik reported on February 19 2008.

The reason for the delay of the project that would link Vidin in Bulgaria to Calafat in Romania, known as Danube Bridge 2, was that Spanish construction firm Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) had not filed its technical project with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, from the Ministry claim, Darik quoted the ministry as saying.

However, Simeon Evtimov, in charge of project development at the Transport Ministry, argued that since the project has already received a construction permit, that meant that all required technical paperwork had been filed.

"FCC presented the technical project in May 2007, it was approved and the project received construction permit. What we miss is a ready draft project," Evtimov told Darik.

Instead, Evtimov blamed the delay on problems with geological surveys and land expropriation, while transport minister Petar Moutafchiev put it down to differences between Bulgarian and Romanian laws.

FCC has won the tender to build the bridge, but also the road and rail infrastructure on the Bulgarian side. The Spanish firm would be paid 162 million euro for the works, while the total costs of the project, including construction on the Romanian side, was estimated at 236 million euro.

When completed, Danube Bridge 2 would become a part of European Transport Corridor IV between Dresden in Germany and Istanbul in Turkey. The bridge would have a length of 1971m and was designed by Fernбndez Casado S.L. and FCC Construction's technical service department of FCC Construction. Construction was expected to be completed within three years of the start.