In spite of the fact that infrastructure development was apriority for each of the 5 Transport Ministers which Romania had since having joined the European Union, the outcomes have long been awaited. After several and lengthy postponements until when two very important road segments were opened, July 19 remains a milestone within the calendar of Transport Ministry in Romania as being an historic one. This refers to the famous Bucharest – Ploiesti motorway, which was scheduled for completion in December 2011 and about the segment Cernavoda – Medgidia of A2 motorway, known as Sun Motorway. The inauguration of both road segments took place yesterday with the attendance of PM Victor Ponta, Transport Minister Ovidiu Silaghi and all officials with tasks in the project, as well as with former PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu presence, as during his term of office works were started.A3 was opened on Thursday, except for the exit to Snagov in case of which works shall be finalized on Wednesday, the Government maintaining the decision to apply penalties for failure to comply with the completion deadline. “Those saying we do not need motorways in Romania were wrong”, Ponta said in reference to the suspended President Traian Basescu, former Transport Minister. Car circulation is allowed on four lanes on Bucharest – Ploiesti motorway, at a maximum speed of 100 km per hour. “A segment of 60 km is a distance for which no petrol stations are needed. I am happy that works are over but also sad because a rather modest project, 60 km, has been taking os much time”, former PM Tariceanu said in his turn.As of others, PM victor Ponta suggested that he would have dismissed Septimiu Buzasu as State Secretary with the Transport Ministry had Bucharest – Ploiesti motorway not having been completed and open for traffic on Thursday, July 19. Early July, PM Ponta asked Transport Minister to convey State Secretary Septimiu Buzasu that he was not very fond with his jokes “regarding the eternal world” related to the completion deadline of Bucharest – Ploiesti motorway and he should better keep them for himself. Two weeks ago, PM Ponta informed that Government would apply penalties worth RON 15 M to those companies which have failed to observe the deadline of works on Bucharest – Ploiesti motorway, this money being used for special programs addressing persons experiencing terminal ills.PM then continued to Constanta to inaugurate the segment Cernavoda – Medgidia within the Sun Motorway, welcomed by Constanta Mayor, Radu Mazare, and by the chairman of County Council, Nicusor Constantinescu. Circulation is for the time being opened only one lane in one direction, as national road. Asked by the journalists whether petrol stations and parking places are to be opened, Ponta said that the important thing was that traffic was possible on the motorway and they would be further on built.“My decision was not to wait any longer until petrol stations and parking places are built and the motorway to be used. Shortly after companies will be here to build petrol stations. I hope that this was a good decision,” Ponta said. He said he was happy with the way works had been implement din case of Sun Motorway and he added that the Government would disburse money for their completion. Also, the PM added that he would not take any credit for these works but only the payment of due amounts to the constructor.
Romania could have had 1,200 km of motorway so far
Romania could have at least 1,200 km of highway since 2007 and until the time being, based on the calculations made available by money.ro, considering the maximum cost standard accepted by Transport Ministry, which was EUR 6 M per km of mountain highways. National Company for Highways and Roads (CNADNR) had a cumulated budget of more than EUR 10.7 bln. In addition, the Romanian state had at its disposal a free funding source represented by Sector Operational Transport Programme, funded by the EU. However, since 2007 and until the time being, our country has effectively absorbed funds amounting to EUR 292 M for Transports, meaning 6.4 per cent of the EUR 4.6 bln provided to Romania by Brussels – i.e. EUR 145,000 per day since joining the EU as compared to EUR 2.3 M per day had we had a full absorption of the EU funds.