The Vidin-Calafat Danube Bridge is of key significance not only for the development of the Pan-European Transport Corridor ІV but also for the entire South-East European Transport Axis and the Trans-European Transport network. It gives opportunities for combined transport and for transferring certain volumes of traffic from road to rail.
With the construction of the new infrastructure a substantial opening of the Bulgarian transport network will be achieved through its integration with the European transport network, along with the improvement of the transport service quality as a whole. This will increase the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy. The impact of the Vidin-Calafat Bridge construction on the regional development will be experienced even during the construction works, as, on average, about 980 job positions are expected to be generated for the period. From the commencement of the construction works to the commissioning of the bridge, about Euro 60 million will be directly invested in the local and regional economy.
The Project on the Bulgarian side includes:
Contract 1 – Design and construction of a combined (road and railway) bridge with four road lanes, one single railway track, a bicycle lane and two pavements for pedestrians and services.
Contract 2 – Construction of the adjoining road and railway infrastructure which covers: new railway freight station and 7 km of new railway line, reconstruction of the existing passenger station and construction of 7 new two-level road junctions.
On the Romanian side the Project includes the construction of 5 km of new railway line, 5 km first class road and a terminal station for joint border control and automobile transport toll charging.
Financed by a non-reimbursable aid from AFD (Agence Franзaise de Dйveloppement), preliminary economic, financial and social analyses of the construction of a new bridge were carried out in the period 2001-2002 by the company BCEOM jointly with the Bulgarian companies ITK and Patinvestengineering and the Romanian company Iptana. This included an updating of the indicative price of the project for a second bridge in the Bulgarian section of the Danube and sub-projects for the selected variant of the bridge location.
A grant from the German Institution KfW (Kreditanstalt fьr Wiederaufbau) financed the preliminary geotechnical and hydrotechnical surveys in the area of the selected bridge location (Danube River km 796), which were carried out in 2001 by the German company RRI Rhein Ruhr International, jointly with the Bulgarian GUS and the Romanian Iptana. These surveys confirmed the correctness of the choice and provided the necessary topographical and geological data for the preliminary design.
Preliminary studies and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) were also financed by KfW and carried out in the period 2001-2003 by the company ERM Lahmeyer International jointly with the Bulgarian companies IRIN and Geomarin and the Romanian Agraro Consult. After public discussions in Vidin and Calafat the EIA Report was aproved at the end of 2004.
Financed by EU ISPA non-reimbursable aid, since the beginning of 2003 the British-Spanish consortium Scott Wilson / Iberinsa / Flint & Neill Partnership was contracted as the International Engineering and Management Consultant (IEMC) to the Ministry of Transport to prepare a Preliminary Design of the Bridge in three variants, a Technical Design of the adjoining Bulgarian road and railway infrastructure and the tender documents for the selection of contractors and consultants in accordance with the European Commission conditions and procedures. During the construction period the IEMC through a Resident Advisor will assist the Project Implementation and Management Unit.
The Project Budget for the Bulgarian side is Euro 225,145,000, which has been secured through the following sources:
|EU ISPA grant
|European Investment Bank (EIB) loan
|Republic of Bulgaria State Budget
The Project Budget for the Romanian side is Euro 48 million, including EU ISPA grant and Romanian State Budget contribution.
Through international tender procedures, on 30th January 2007 the Spanish company FCC was appointed as Contractor under FIDIC conditions for the design and construction of the main bridge (Contract 1) whereas the French-British consortium Ingerop/High-Point Rendel was appointed as the Engineer under FIDIC conditions to carry out the control of the design and the supervision of the construction. On 26th October 2007 FCC was also appointed as Contractor for Contract 3 being the consortium Ingerop/High-Point Rendel/Salfo appointed as the Engineer.