General Mayor in office for three years now, talks about his plans to modernize city infrastructure and takes pride in the Basarab Overpass and the ‘Lia Manoliu’ stadium.
“I have the ambition of transforming this city and of making it one of the important European capitals. I am telling everyone that they won’t stop me even if they were to try in various ways. My top priority was doing something for Bucharest. I have subordinated political interests to Bucharesters’ interests. Bucharest has to be modernized and won’t wait for all those hitting the breaks,” Mayor Sorin Oprescu stated on Monday when presenting his review after 3 years in office. The recently inaugurated Basarab Overpass opened the list of his main accomplishments. “This is the most complicated project done in Romania in the last 30 years and will become a source of pride for Bucharest. At the start of my term, in 2008, the project was stuck: it lacked a plan, the expropriations were not finished, there were a lot of litigations, construction works were making no headway, and payments were frozen. I overcame all problems and in three years’ time managed to build more than was built in eight years’ time,” Oprescu said. At the same time he rejected all accusations that he opened the Basarab Overpass to traffic without conducting the final tests. “I wasn’t crazy to open a bridge to traffic without conducting all tests,” the General Mayor pointed out.
On the other hand, Sorin Oprescu talked about his next big project in Bucharest, namely about the project to link Independentei Boulevard to Ciurel and the A1 Highway, calling it “a veritable highway” in the western part of Bucharest. “It will be a complex road system, an “express way,” consisting of a cable stayed bridge and three road junctures that will link the Independentei Boulevard to the A1 Highway, thus becoming an important alternative to the Iuliu Maniu Boulevard. One will be able to drive from downtown Bucharest to the A1 Highway in just 20 minutes’ time, this being an extremely important project for Bucharest’s road infrastructure and development. It will be 12.5-kilometer long and the bridge over the Dambovita River will have a length of 235 meters and a height of 68 meters,” Oprescu stated.
The Mayor also mentioned other projects, such as the Pipera Overpass that will entail widening the Pipera Street to six lanes (as against two lanes now) and constructing an overpass over the Barbu Vacarescu Boulevard and the Calea Floreasca Boulevard. The project’s deadline is the end of 2011.
According to the General Mayor, the Charles de Gaulle Underpass, which will consist of two underground sections with a total length of 1,392 meters, is in various pre-construction stages. The construction works will start in 2011 and will last 2 years. Oprescu also talked about the Presei Libere Square underpass that will have a total length of 740 meters and will link the Bucharest-Ploiesti highway with the Kiseleff and Marasti Boulevards. The construction works will start in 2012.
The General Mayor also mentioned the underground parking lot within the Universitatii Square. The parking lot will have a capacity of 380 cars, three levels and two entry points. Construction works will be completed in 2012. Talking about the ‘Lia Manoliu’ National Stadium, Oprescu described it as “a grand urban development project,” “a source of pride for Bucharest.” The stadium will be not only a sports centre “but also a resource multiplier.”