Highways in Bulgaria

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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),[1] while expressways do not and the speed limit is 120 km/h (75 mph).[2]

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.

Bulgarian highway network

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. However, introduction of toll system to replace the vignettes is under consideration as being more fair form of payment.[3]


AB-grün.svg Motorway From Route To Planned In service  % Under construction Tender Estimated completion
Mw A1 BG.svg Trakia Sofia Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Yambol Burgas 360 km 360 km 100% Completed[4]
Mw A2 BG.svg Hemus Sofia Botevgrad, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen Varna 433 km 161 km 37.18% 4.9 km 60 km[5] Panayot Volovo to Belokopitovo interchange - Q2 `15[6]
Mw A3 BG.svg Struma Pernik, Mw A6 BG.svg Dupnitsa, Blagoevgrad, Sandanski, Petrich Kulata; Greece 156 km 32 km 20.51% 54.8 km 36.2 km[7] Sandanski to Kulata – 2015; Dupnitsa to Blagoevgrad - Q1 '15[8]
Mw A4 BG.svg Maritsa Chirpan, Mw A1 BG.svg Haskovo/Dimitrovgrad Kapitan Andreevo; Turkey 116 km 43 km 37.07% 73 km[9] August 2015[10]
Mw A5 BG.svg Cherno More Varna Nesebar Burgas 95 km 10 km 10.53%
Mw A6 BG.svg Lyulin Sofia Pernik, Mw A3 BG.svg 19 km 19 km 100% Completed[11]
Mw A7 BG.svg Kalotina[nb 1] Sofia Slivnitsa Kalotina; Serbia 50 km[12]
Northern Tangent[nb 1] Sofia Bypass 16.5 km 16.5 km 2016
Veliko Tarnovo-Ruse[13] Veliko Tarnovo Byala Ruse, Danube Bridge; Romania 110 km
Total 1,355 km 625 km 46.13% 149 km 96.2 km


Expressway From Route To Planned In service  % Under construction Tender Estimated completion
Botevgrad-Vidin Botevgrad, Mw A2 BG.svg Mezdra, Vratsa, Montana Vidin, New Europe Bridge; Romania 185 km 6 km[14] 3.24% 12.5 km 32.7[15] Montana bypass - Q1 `15[8][16]
Shumen-Ruse Shumen, Mw A2 BG.svg Razgrad Ruse, Danube Bridge; Romania 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[edit]

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.[17]

Access to highway networks of neighbouring countries[edit]


Struma motorway is planned to connect near Kulata with the Greek A25 motorway (SerresLagkadasEgnatia Odos). The route is part of the Pan-European Corridor IV.

Also an intersection on the Maritsa motorway is built near Svilengrad, to connect with the future A21 motorway in Greece.


BotevgradVidin, Veliko TarnovoRuse 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.[18]

Also, in long terms, Cherno More motorway is planned to connect with the future Romanian A4 motorway to Constanţa (interchange with A2 motorway, leading to Bucharest).


Maritsa motorway is planned to connect near Kapitan Andreevo with the Turkish O-3, heading to Istanbul.


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[edit]

Dupnitsa-Kyustendil expressway branching off from Struma motorway is planned to connect with the Republic of Macedonia.



  1. ^ a b Still not designated as of January 2013.


  1. ^ "Bulgaria Ups Hwy Speed Limit to 140 km/h". novinite.com. 26 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Amendments in the Roads Act". State gazette (47). 26 June 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "The World Bank Will Consult Road Infrastructure Agency for the Introduction of a Toll System at the Use of the National Roads". RIA. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Bulgaria Opens Monday Its First Completed HWY Trakiya". novinite.com. 15 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Тръгна процедурата за удължаването на "Хемус" до разклона за Плевен и Ловеч" (in Bulgarian). Dnevnik. 9 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Construction of the next segment of Hemus motorway begins". profit.bg (in Bulgarian). 
  7. ^ "Bulgaria invites bids for construction of 36.2 km Struma motorway stretch". wire.seenews.com. August 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "ТЕМА: ТРАНСПОРТ И ТРАНСПОРТНА ИНФРАСТРУКТУРА - Пътища". stroitelstvo.info. 13 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "State allocates 32.5M leva for Maritsa motorway". sofiaecho.com. 18 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Bulgaria Hopes to Have Maritsa Motorway Built by August 2015". novinite.com. November 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bulgaria Gives Official Launch to Its First Completed Highway". novinite.com. 15 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Пореден краен срок: Магистралата София-Ниш готова до края на 2016 година". mediapool.bg (in Bulgarian). 
  13. ^ "Bulgaria Plans Construction of Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo Motorway". novinite.com. 13 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "The long-awaited day for Danube Bridge Vidin Calafat, 14.06.2013". 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "The Construction of the Bypass Road of the Town of Montana Starts". API. 27 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Tender for feasibility study of Ruse-Svilengrad was announced". stroitelstvo.info (in Bulgarian). 22 October 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Premier Ponta: Motorway connection envisaged between Craiova and Calafat". agerpres.ro. 14 June 2013.