Bulgaria and Romania to build third bridge over Danube

Danube Bridge 2 - between Vidin and Kalafat
Photo: library

Bulgaria and Romania will turn the first sod of the third bridge over the Danube, Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov announced. The bridge will connect the Bulgarian town of Svishtov and the Romanian town of Zimnicea. This option was chosen due to the existing local railway link on both sides of the river. According to Professor Marin Rusev who teaches Sustainable Development and Geo-Economics at the Sofia University Saint Kliment Ohridski, the Romanian position with regard to the Danube Strategy and its transport projections weighs more during the development of the EU common policy, which is quite natural, because Bulgaria’s northern neighbor is three times bigger in territory, population and industrial potential. Moreover, a large part of the lower stream and the delta of the Danube River are entirely on Romanian territory, where three bridges have been already built and Romania is planning to construct two more. Professor Rusev contends that it would have been better for Bulgaria if the third bridge across the Danube is built between the Bulgarian town of Silistra and the Romanian town of Călărași. In his view, the decision to build a third bridge west of the Bulgarian city of Ruse means complete absence of spatial analysis and impact assessment of such infrastructural object.

I am afraid that using politicians or mathematicians, who can surely solve the so-called transport task is not enough at all, Professor Rusev told Radio Bulgaria. I would like to know whether people working in interdisciplinary studies, regional policy, economic geography and geography related to transport accessibility and transport efficiency, are participating in the decision-making process.

The profitability in the construction of a river bridge is not calculated only with financial indicators, passenger kilometers, geographical accessibility and transport accessibility, Professor Rusev contends and adds:

We are rather talking about cultural accessibility, national accessibility. The Bulgarian Black Sea resorts are pinning big hopes on the seasonal workers with the perspective that some of them would like this place, settle permanently there and partially solve the demographic problems of this country. When we discuss this topic we refer to the town of Vidin (Northwest Bulgaria), where the second Danube Bridge between Bulgaria and Romania was built, because that bridge connected the Bulgarian communities in Banat region. We should aim at the Bulgarian communities in Ukraine and Moldova when we make decisions to build bridges over the Danube. That is why I believe that a third bridge connecting Silistra and Călărași would have been a better option for Bulgaria.

Romania is interested to build the third Danube Bridge west of Ruse and Bulgaria is interested to build that bridge east of this Bulgarian city. Why don’t Bulgaria and Romania start building the two bridges together, provided Bucharest and Sofia are able to finance their preferred projects?

Of course we should build a fourth bridge across the Danube in the future. However, I believe that the idea to build the two bridges simultaneously is not good. Let us not forget that this topic can be developed in the future as well. A total of 60 bridges were built over the Danube west of Belgrade (Serbia) and only 7 were built east of this city – between Serbia’s capital and the Romanian city of Constanta. In other words one bridge in every 20 kilometers of Danube was built west of Belgrade, whereas east of Serbia’s capital one bridge was built in every 160 kilometers of the river. Seven bridges between Belgrade and Constanta is merely nothing.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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