Construction on the Hemus Motorway would resume in two years, Regional Development Minister Rossen Plevneliev said in the northern Bulgarian city of Pleven, website investor.bg reported on December 8 2009.
Concession procedures are pending and will require about 18 months to two years, according to the Minister. This will be conducted with the collaboration of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a task force consisting of "experts" as well as personnel from three other ministries. Once the procedures are completed, the construction company will be selected, Investor said.
"We need to allow time for the experts to conduct their work properly regarding the motorway's most appropriate route," Plevneliev was quoted as saying by the Bulgarian news agency (BTA).
"There is a prepared project regarding the actual route of the motorway, which needs to be updated and approved," he said.
Reportedly, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the "best possible partner for the moment", according to the Minister, because it will finance the project. The motorway section from Yablanitsa to Veliko Turnovo will allegedly be "prioritised", after which attention will shift to the segment from Veliko Turnovo to the riverside town of Rousse on the Romanian border. Less priority will be given to the section from Veliko Turnovo to Shoumen because the traffic towards Romania is much greater, Investor reported.
The Hemus Motorway A2 is poised to link Sofia with Bulgaria's largest city on the Black Sea, Varna, with an auxiliary motorway section spanning to Shoumen E772, and then from Shoumen to Yablanitsa E83 and, finally, from Yablanitsa to Sofia. The total length of the Hemus Motorway is 433km of which 151km have been completed.