62% of the budget of OP on Transport and Transport Infrastructure disbursed, in the railway projects – only 33%

The funds disbursed from the budget of OP "Transport and Transport Infrastructure" 2014-2020 are currently 1.08 billion euros, which is 62% of the total resource of the Program. The lowest absorption of funds is reported in railway projects - 33%. This became clear during the regular Meeting of the Monitoring Committee of OPTTI 2014-2020, which took place in the period 11-12 May in Sofia.

There is a year and a half left until the end of the Program, in which a lot of work must be done in order to prevent non-fulfillment of the set goals, said Martin Georgiev, acting Director of the Coordination of Programs and Projects Directorate at the Ministry of Transport and Communications and Head of the Managing Authority of OPTTI.

He explained that the Transport Connectivity Program has not yet been approved by the European Commission, but the eligibility period of expenditures has already started. "The main projects in the railway sector that will be implemented in the new period are phased projects and we expect NRIC to implement the two phases in parallel, without waiting for the end of the period 2014-2020", Georgiev said.

The Deputy Director General of the National Railway Infrastructure Company, Julieta Atanasova, presented the current status of the ongoing projects. The activities under the project for rehabilitation of the railway line Plovdiv-Burgas have been completed at 41%, and currently the systems for signaling and telecommunications and the modernization of the railway section Orizovo-Mihailovo are being built. Contracts have been signed with contractors for the construction of 24 road overpasses, which will ensure conflict-free crossing of road and rail transport. Regarding the other big project - Elin Pelin-Kostenets, Atanasova said that about 2 km of tunnel facilities in the Elin Pelin-Vakarel section have been dug, and the construction of the second lot between Vakarel and Ihtiman will start soon.

In the road projects it was reported that the Zheleznitsa Tunnel of the Struma Motorway has been structurally constructed and finishing works are currently being carried out. The overall progress of the whole project, which includes Lot 3.1 Blagoevgrad-Krupnik, Lot 3.3 Kresna-Sandanski and the Zheleznitsa Tunnel, is 91%, but because of several activated landslides in the area, it is expected to be completed next year.