Bucharest-Comarnic highway to be finalized in 2017, says PM Ponta

The usage fee we are considering is RON 5.7 plus VAT

Construction work on the 53 kilometers long Comarnic-Brasov highway will begin in late April this year and be finalized in 2017, at an estimate cost of EUR 1.8 billion and a usage fee of RON 5.7 plus VAT, Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced. The PM and Dan Sova, Minister Delegate for Infrastructure Projects, met yesterday with representatives of Vinci – Strabag – Aktor, the corporation who won the bid on building the stretch of highway between Comarnic and Brasov, at Palatul Victoria to sign an Memorandum of Goodwill.
The Comarnic-Brasov highway will be 53.215 km long plus an additional 7 km of linkage roads, which include 3 tunnels, 19 viaducts, 15 bridges, and 3 exit points (Sinaia-Busteni, Predeal, and Rasnov). The estimate amount for building the highway is EUR 1.8 billion, at EUR 28 million per km.
According to the memorandum, Ponta explained, the last kilometer of highway will be finalized in 2017, although he hopes the project will be completed before end-2016. The highway will be licensed for 26 years plus the construction period and the Government will have to start reimbursement of construction costs in 2017. The PM pointed out the money resulting from highway usage fees will be used for cost reimbursement, while underlining that the Government will decide whether the fee should be introduced only after construction work is finalized. The state budget amounts reserved for reimbursement will also depend on the fee levels, Ponta said further.
He also mentioned the Government had requested Eurostat to agree not to include the project in the budget deficit. The PM expressed hope that after the European Commission, EBI, and EBRD have agreed and the financing bank procedures have been finalized, this contract with Vinci – Strabag – Aktor Corporation would be signed before April 20, when the inauguration of the highway construction site is scheduled. RON 100 million of the state budget has been reserved for expropriations and all properties are located in unincorporated areas.
According to the Prime Minister, if all procedures are successfully carried out and the contract is signed before the target deadline, the Government will also expedite other collaborative projects between the public and private sectors, such as Pitesti-Craiova and the Bucharest South Beltway.
Ponta said he is confident construction companies will comply with agreed-upon deadlines in order to receive the amounts spent as part of the project from the Government as of 2017.

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