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. However, introduction of toll system to replace the vignettes is under consideration as being more fair form of payment.
|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||60 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|
|Veliko Tarnovo-Ruse||Veliko Tarnovo||Byala||Ruse, Danube Bridge;||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,||Mezdra, Vratsa, Montana||Vidin, New Europe Bridge;||185 km||6 km||3.24%||12.5 km||32.7||Montana bypass - Q1 `15|
|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.