Highways in Bulgaria
Highways in Bulgaria are dual carriageways, grade separated with controlled-access, designed for high speeds. In 2012, legislation amendments defined two types of highways: motorways (Bulgarian: Aвтомагистрала, Avtomagistrala) and expressways (Bulgarian: Скоростен път, Skorosten pat). The main differences are that motorways have emergency lanes and the maximum allowed speed limit is 140 km/h (87 mph), while expressways do not and the speed limit is 120 km/h (75 mph).
The EU accession of the country in 2007, and the improved in the recent years utilization of the allocated EU funds enabled Bulgaria to speed up the expansion of its highway network. As of August 2014, 625 km (388 mi) of motorways are in service, with another 149 km (93 mi) being under various stages of construction.
Generally, there are no toll roads in Bulgaria, and instead a vignette is required, except for municipal roads. Two bridges − New Europe Bridge and Danube Bridge are tolled, both at Danube border crossings to Romania.
|Motorway||From||Route||To||Planned||In service||%||Under construction||Tender||Estimated completion|
|Trakia||Sofia||Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Yambol||Burgas||360 km||360 km||100%||−||−||Completed|
|Hemus||Sofia||Botevgrad, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen||Varna||433 km||161 km||37.18%||4.9 km||−||Panayot Volovo to Belokopitovo interchange - Q2 `15|
|Struma||Pernik,||Dupnitsa, Blagoevgrad, Sandanski, Petrich||Kulata;||156 km||32 km||20.51%||54.8 km||36.2 km||Sandanski to Kulata – 2015; Dupnitsa to Blagoevgrad - Q1 '15|
|Maritsa||Chirpan,||Haskovo/Dimitrovgrad||Kapitan Andreevo;||116 km||43 km||37.07%||73 km||−||August 2015|
|Cherno More||Varna||Nesebar||Burgas||95 km||10 km||10.53%||−||−||−|
|Lyulin||Sofia||Pernik,||19 km||19 km||100%||−||−||Completed|
|Kalotina[nb 1]||Sofia||Slivnitsa||Kalotina;||50 km||−||−||−||−||−|
|Northern Tangent[nb 1]||−||Sofia Bypass||−||16.5 km||−||−||16.5 km||−||2016|
|Total||1,245 km||625 km||50.2%||149 km||36.2 km|
|Expressway||From||Route||To||Planned||In service||%||Under construction||Tender||Estimated completion|
|Botevgrad-Vidin||Botevgrad,||Mezdra, Vratsa, Montana||Vidin, New Europe Bridge;||185 km||6 km||3.24%||12.5 km||32.7||Montana bypass - Q1 `15|
|Veliko Tarnovo-Ruse||Veliko Tarnovo,||Byala||Ruse, Danube Bridge;||100 km||−||−||−||−||−|
|Shumen-Ruse||Shumen,||Razgrad||Ruse, Danube Bridge;||110 km||−||−||−||−||−|
Construction works on the 31.5 km section from Botevgrad to Mezdra and the 12.5 km Mezdra bypass are expected to begin in 2013. Also in 2012, were tendered design works on the section between Mezdra and Vidin.
Other highway projects
In 2012, the Bulgarian government announced talks with Qatar to build a South–North motorway/expressway as a PPP from Svilengrad, at the Turkish/Greek border, to Ruse, at the Romanian border. The route is part of the Pan-European Corridor IX. In October 2012, a tender for a feasibility study was announced.
Access to highway networks of neighbouring countries
Botevgrad–Vidin, Veliko Tarnovo–Ruse and Shumen–Ruse expressways, all branching off from Hemus motorway are planned to connect with Romania. The Botevgrad-Vidin expressway is likely the first to be built. The Romanian PM Victor Ponta made a statement after the inauguration of New Europe Bridge that Romania plans to build a motorway between Craiova and Calafat.
A 31.5 km section of the Kalotina motorway from Sofia to Kalotina was tendered in 2012 and is expected to connect with the future Serbian A4 motorway to Niš. The route is part of Pan-European Corridor X.
Republic of Macedonia
Trakia motorway near Nova Zagora
Trakia motorway near Trayanovi Vrata tunnel
Hemus motorway crossing the Balkan Mountains
Construction works on Martitsa motorway near Chirpan
Entering Lyulin motorway near Pernik
Struma motorway near Pernik
- Still not designated as of January 2013.
- "Bulgaria Ups Hwy Speed Limit to 140 km/h". novinite.com. 26 June 2012.
- "Amendments in the Roads Act". State gazette (47). 26 June 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Bulgaria Opens Monday Its First Completed HWY Trakiya". novinite.com. 15 July 2013.
- "Construction of the next segment of Hemus motorway begins". profit.bg (in Bulgarian).
- "Bulgaria invites bids for construction of 36.2 km Struma motorway stretch". wire.seenews.com. August 4, 2014.
- "ТЕМА: ТРАНСПОРТ И ТРАНСПОРТНА ИНФРАСТРУКТУРА - Пътища". stroitelstvo.info. 13 January 2014.
- "State allocates 32.5M leva for Maritsa motorway". sofiaecho.com. 18 March 2010.
- "Bulgaria Hopes to Have Maritsa Motorway Built by August 2015". novinite.com. November 16, 2014.
- "Bulgaria Gives Official Launch to Its First Completed Highway". novinite.com. 15 May 2011.
- "Пореден краен срок: Магистралата София-Ниш готова до края на 2016 година". mediapool.bg (in Bulgarian).
- "The long-awaited day for Danube Bridge Vidin Calafat, 14.06.2013".
- "Стартират две обществени поръчки за допълнително проектиране и строителство на 32,7 км от път I-1 Мездра - Ботевград" (in Bulgarian). api.bg. 27 June 2014.
- "The Construction of the Bypass Road of the Town of Montana Starts". API. 27 August 2013.
- "Tender for feasibility study of Ruse-Svilengrad was announced". stroitelstvo.info (in Bulgarian). 22 October 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Premier Ponta: Motorway connection envisaged between Craiova and Calafat". agerpres.ro. 14 June 2013.