Highways in Romania
Controlled-access highways in Romania are dual carriageways, grade separated with controlled-access, designed for high speeds. In 2012, legislation amendments defined two types of highways: motorways (Romanian: Autostrăzi) and expressways (Romanian: Drumuri expres).
The EU accession of the country in 2007 and the improved utilization of the allocated EU funds in recent years, enabled Romania to speed up the expansion of its highway network. There are no toll roads, but a vignette is required, except for municipal roads.
There are 850.016 km of motorways currently in use.
Only A2 is completed, while A1 is mostly completed with significant sections currently being built. A3 has two large segments that are currently in use, but most of it is still only planned, with only a small part under construction. A10 will likely be the next completed highway, while A4, A6 and A11 currently have only small segments in use. Plans to extend the current network include seven other motorways, but none are likely to be completed in the near future.
Motorways are identified by A followed by a number. There are few tolls for using roads in Romania. There is one at the Giurgeni – Vadu Oii Bridge over the river Danube on highway DN2A at Vadu Oii and one at the Cernavodă Bridge, on the A2 motorway, a 17 km long section between Feteşti and Cernavodă which consists of two road/railway bridges. Nevertheless, every owner of a car that uses a motorway (A) or a national road (DN) in Romania must purchase a vignette (rovinietă) from any of the main petrol stations or at any post office throughout the country.
The construction of the first motorway in Romania began in 1967, and the first segment of the A1 motorway, from Pitești to the capital Bucharest was opened in 1972 with a total length of 96 km. During the building of this motorway, a general plan was released in 1969, detailing the building of motorways in the incoming years, however, due to low volumes of traffic, the communist regime focused on improving current roads instead. Until the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the building of the second motorway between Bucharest and Constanta had been planned, but only an 18 km long segment of A2 from Fetești to Cernavodă, opened in 1987, was completed, differing from the original plans from 18 years ago. The original plan of the A2 motorway envisaged a route running northwards through Urziceni and Slobozia, while the current route of the motorway runs eastwards in a straight line towards Fetești. In the 1990s, the transition from a centralized economy to a market economy severely limited investment into infrastructure projects, and the entire motorway network totaled 113 km for decades until the construction project of A2 was resumed in 1998.
Actual construction began in 2001 on three segments of A2, and in 2004 these finally opened: Bucharest – Fundulea 26.5 km, Fundulea – Lehliu 29.2 km, Lehliu – Drajna 41.6 km. Another segment opened in 2007: Drajna – Fetești 36.6 km, while the A1 motorway was extended also in 2007 with the Pitești bypass (13.6 km). Also in 2004, a large sector of A3, termed "Transylvania Motorway", was awarded controversially without bidding to the American Bechtel Corporation. Large cost overruns and delays ensued for this project, and after political controversies, most of the contracts were cancelled, and only the Cluj bypass (Gilău – Turda and Turda – Câmpia Turzii segments) of 51.7 km were opened between 2009 and 2010, at much larger costs than initially signed in the contract.
After joining the European Union in 2007, Romania was able to access funds for infrastructure development more easily, especially for those part of the Pan-European Corridor IV overlapping with A1 and A2 motorways. Many segments of the A1 motorway were started, and by the end of 2011, the A1 segments Timișoara – Arad (32.3 km), Sibiu bypass (17.5 km), and A2 segment Murfatlar – Constanța (14.6 km), together with the A4 Constanta bypass (8.5 km) and A11 Arad bypass (12.3 km) were partially or fully opened. By the end of 2012, the A1 the segment Deva – Simeria (14.8 km), the A2 segment Cernavodă – Murfatlar (36.6 km) and the final segment of the A4 Constanța bypass (11.2 km) were completed. The first A3 segment not completed by Becthel, the Bucharest – Ploiești (55.5 km) was also opened that year. At the end of 2013, more segments of A1 were finalized, including parts of Lugoj – Deva (17.3 km), Sibiu – Orăștie (60.0 km), Orastie – Simeria (17.7 km) and the adjacent first sector of A6 Balinț – Lugoj (11.4 km), and the final segments of the A4 Constanta bypass (2.1 km). In 2014 and 2015, more A1 segments were opened between Sibiu – Orăștie (22.1 km), Arad – Nadlac (38.9 km), and Timisoara – Lugoj (35.8 km), for a total of 726.6 km of motorways in use in Romania in December 2015.
Political debates and changes in priorities of left-leaning parties after 2014 greatly slowed down motorway projects. In 2016, there were no new segments opened, with a small segment part of Lugoj – Deva (15.2 km) opening in 2017, for a total of 751.9 km in use. In 2018, two segments of the A10 motorway, between Aiud and Turda, measuring 28.8 km, two segments of the A3 motorway, between Ungheni and Iernut (13.7 km), and the start segment of A3 motorway in Bucharest (6.5 km) opened to traffic, bringing the total to 806.7 km. Currently, two other segments of the A10 motorway are in execution (41.3 km), together with all the remaining segments of A1 (56.8 km, excluding Pitești – Sibiu) and several segments between Târgu Mureș and Câmpia Turzii (38.1 km), as well as two so-called "stubs" near Borș (5.4 km) and Brașov (6.3 km), and a segment (21.0 km) of the Bucharest South Ring Motorway.
|Total km||96||113||210||247||261||303||330||402||529||638||688||735||748||807||850||907 (est.)|
Currently the only completed motorway is A2, with A10 likely being the next one to finish around 2020-2021. The unfinished segments of A1 and A3 are in various stages of planning and construction, with several segments likely to finish by 2022-2025. There are no active planned projects for extending the current A4, A6 and A11 motorways that are in usage, as only projected long-term plans are envisioned in various infrastructure masterplans.
A few other motorways have received active discussion, including a termed A0 Bucharest Motorway Ring Road as an outer ring to the Bucharest Ring Road. The A7 Ploiești–Bacău Motorway has been planned to be part of the Pan-European Corridor IX, but currently only plans of a Bacau bypass (16 km) are being actively pursued. Beyond Pașcani, the Corridor IX is envisioned to be covered by the A8 East–West Motorway. Plans have been brought forward to link Craiova to A1 through an A12 motorway. Highways crossing the Carpathian Mountains have been delayed due to large costs, with debates on whether to build A3 (through long-term concession contracts) or A1 (EU funds would cover most of the cost). Regardless, an A13 Făgăraș–Sibiu Motorway has been viewed as an alternative to link A1 and A3. Also, A5 as a Brașov–Bacău Motorway has been mentioned as a link between Moldavia and Transylvania. A9 is planned to link A1 to Serbia.
- Under construction and opening (estimate)
- 2020: on the A3 motorway Iernut - Câmpia Turzii, the lot 2 between Iernut - Chețani (17.9 km)
- 2020: on the A3 motorway, between Biharia - Borș (5.35 km)
- 2020: on the A10 motorway Sebeș - Turda, the lot 1 between Sebeș - Alba Iulia (nord) (17.0 km)
- 2020: on the A7 motorway Bacău - Pașcani, centura Bacău (16.27 km)
- 2021: on the A10 motorway Sebeș - Turda, the lot 2 between Alba Iulia (nord) - Aiud (24.25 km)
- 2021: on the A3 motorway Iernut - Câmpia Turzii, the lot 3 between Chețani - Câmpia Turzii (15.69 km)
- 2021: on the A3 motorway Predeal - Codlea, between Râșnov - Cristian (6.3 km)
- 2021-2022: on the A1 motorway Pitești - Sibiu, the lot 1 between Boița - Sibiu (14.15 km)
- 2022: on the A4 (DX) expressways Brăila - Jijila and Danube Bridge (1974.3 m), entirely (19.095 km)
- 2022-2023: the southern segment of A0 motorway (51 km)
|Motorway||From||Route||To||Planned (km)||In service (km)|
|Intended to serve as an outer ring to the existing Bucharest Ring Road. First segment awarded for construction was on the southern half in 2018. Currently is partially under construction, with the first openings due in 2022.|
|A1||Bucharest||Bucharest Ring Road – Pitești – – – Sibiu – – Deva – – Lugoj – Timișoara – – Arad||Nădlac → Hungary||580.20||444.93|
|Bucharest–Pitești (109.66 km), Sibiu–Holdea (175.71 km), and Margina-Nădlac (159.56 km) sections are operational. In the project phase is the section of the Holdea-Margina tunnels (13.16 km) and the Pitești-Sibiu section (122.11 km).|
|A2||Bucharest||Bucharest Ring Road – Fetești – Cernavodă –||Constanța||203.00||203.00|
|Operational on the entire length since 2012, first fully completed motorway in Romania.|
|A3||Bucharest||Bucharest Ring Road – – Ploiești – – Brașov – – Sighișoara – Târgu Mureș – – Cluj-Napoca – Zalău – Oradea –||Borș → Hungary||606.53||137.74|
|Bucharest–Ploiești (62.79 km), Câmpia Turzii–Nădășelu (61.25 km) and Ungheni-Iernut (13.70 km) sectors are operational. Targu-Mures–Câmpia Turzii (55 km) segments are due in 2018–2019. Suplacu de Barcău – Borș (64.5 km) and Brașov–Rasnov are in early stages of construction. Status of the Brasov–Targu Mures segment remains unclear.|
|A4||Braila||Tulcea – Ovidiu – A2 – Port of Constanța – Agigea – Mangalia||Vama Veche → Bulgaria||82.20||22.20|
|Only Constanța bypass is complete, Agigea – Vama Veche section are not being actively pursued.|
|Intended as a link between Transylvania and Moldavia.|
|A6||Lugoj||– Lugoj – Drobeta-Turnu Severin||Calafat → Bulgaria||273
|Opened only as the Lugoj bypass from the junction with A1|
|A7||Ploiești||– Ploiești – Buzău – Focșani – – Bacău – – Pașcani – Suceava||Siret → Ukraine||424.70||0|
|Construction of Bacău bypass (16.27 km) started in 2019 and will be finished by 2020.|
|A8||Târgu Mureș||– Târgu Neamț – Sovata – – Pașcani – Iași||Ungheni → Moldova||311.07||0|
|East–West motorway between regions of Transylvania and Moldavia, feasibility studies under revision with estimated construction period 2022-2030.|
|A9||Timișoara||– Timișoara – Moravița||Moravița → Serbia||92||0|
|Intended to link Timisoara with Serbia's motorway network.|
|A10||Sebeș||– Alba Iulia – Aiud –||Turda||70.00||28.75|
|Aiud–Turda opened in July 2018, with the remaining segments due to be opened by 2020.|
|A11||Arad||– Arad – Oradea – Junction with DN7 –||Oradea||134.63||2.0|
|Only junction with A1 is operational since 2011, but it is planned to eventually reach Oradea.|
|A12||Pitești||– Pitești – Slatina – Bals||Craiova||121.19||0|
|Was auctioned as an expressway (DX12), and is partially under construction.|
|A13||Brașov||– Făgăraș –||Sibiu||128||0|
|Feasibility studies are currently underway for Sibiu-Fagaras sector (72 km)|
|DX1||București – Alexandria||Valahia||alternative to A6|
|DX2||Craiova – Drobeta-Turnu Severin – Lugoj||Danubia||extension of A6|
|DX3||Pitești – Râșnov – Brașov||Brașovia||linking A1 and A3|
|DX4||Cluj-Napoca – Dej (DX4A: Bistrita, DX4B: Baia Mare) – Satu Mare||Someş||connections to Hungary (Dorolț) and Ukraine (Halmeu); 20 km built|
|DX5||Buzău – Focșani – Bacău (DX5A: Piatra Neamț) – Pașcani – Suceava (DX5B: Botoșani)||Siret||alternative to A7|
|DX6||Focșani – Brăila – Galați||Milcovia||linking A1 and A3|
|DX7||Târgoviște – Ploiești – Buzău – Brăila (DX7A: Focșani) – Galați||Muntenia||alternative to A7, linking it to A1|
|DX8||Brăila – Tulcea – Constanța||Dobrogea||alternative to A4|
|DX11||Otopeni – A3||Coandă||link to the Henri Coandă Airport|
A1 motorway at Pitești bypass
A1 motorway at Sibiu bypass, opened in 2010.
A1 motorway near Timișoara
A2 motorway at Cernavoda, opened 1987
A2 motorway near Constanta at a junction with the A4 motorway
A2 motorway between Bucharest and Fetești
A3 motorway between Bucharest and Ploiești
A11 motorway (Arad bypass)
- Transport in Romania
- List of controlled-access highway systems
- Evolution of motorway construction in European nations
- European routes
- List of roads and highways
- "Ce este un drum expres si cum se aseamana sau se deosebeste de o autostrada" (in Romanian). Hotnews.ro. 30 September 2014.
- "Rovinieta 2012 Taxa de Drum si Tarife Rovinieta 2012". Ghidtransport.ro. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Prezentarea generală a rețelei de drumuri". CNADNR. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
- "Primul lot al Autostrazii Lugoj - Deva, deschis circulatiei in plina noapte, cu o intarziere de noua luni". Hotnews. 23 December 2013.
- "Roads Masterplan 2014" (PDF). CNADNR. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Construcţie drumuri expres". CNADNR. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2010.