Bulgaria and Romania would jointly seek funding from the European Union for the modernisation and rehabilitation of the only bridge across the Danube River between the two countries, website stroitelstvo.bg reported, quoting participants in a commission of experts overseeing the bridge's maintenance, informed The Sofia Echo.
This bridge linking Rousse on the Bulgarian side to Giurgiu in Romania is the only one in this part of Europe, making it an important part of the EU transport infrastructure in South-Eastern Europe.
At the annual meeting between the Bulgarian and Romanian experts, the issue of funding was the pivotal theme of discussion, focused on the condition of the bridge. The meeting started with comprehensive evaluation and reassessment of every element of the infrastructure of the bridge. Particular detail was paid to its mobile part, the 81m section which is suspended in the air when larger vessels pass underneath.
The bridge has been in service since 1954 and several important parts are in bad need of renovation and modernisation, stroitelstvo.bg said. The maintenance of the mobile part of the bridge is currently the responsibility of the Romanian specialists, with Bulgaria and Romania sharing the bill.
Within the commission, there are sub commissions dealing with every aspect of the facility and its proper functioning. They are responsible for the meticulous inspection of the technical parts and making sure they operate at the highest possible level, as well as maintaining the high safety standards. The refurbishment and repair of the mobile part of the bridge itself is as part of the rehabilitation process which has been ongoing since 1999.
Both countries believe it is imperative that the new technical plan is put together and implemented as soon as possible.
Experts from both countries have decided that the most important technical priority regarding the project, apart from its mobile section, is rehabilitating the structures of the bridge and in particular the parts which have been suffering from corrosion. New generation anti-corrosion material has to be applied in all affected areas. The bridge itself has a total of 200 000 sq m.