At present Romania has approximately 988 kilometers of highways and expressways. On August 1, the contract was signed for another 37 km of the Sibiu - Piteşti highway.
With a total length of almost 580 km, the A1 Highway starts in Bucharest and is designed to ensure the exit towards the border with Hungary at Nădlac, passing through Pitești, Sibiu, Deva, Timișoara and Arad. If we look at the extended map we see that, in order to finalize the European Corridor from Vama Nădlac 2 customs point to the port of Constanța on the Black Sea, 10 km of highway are needed, with tunnels between Lugoj and Deva, as well as the 120 km-long section of the highway on the Olt Valley. Six companies have submitted bids for the contract for the missing section in Timiş county (west), although the signing of the contract cannot be guaranteed until the end of the year. For the Sibiu - Piteşti highway section, as of August 1, all five segments already have contracts signed.
On two of these segments, the ones at the ends of the highway, works have already started. And according to the official timetable of signed contracts, the Sibiu - Piteşti highway should be ready in six years. Romania will have the first highway that will cross the Carpathians, says the Transport Minister, Sorin Grindeanu, who participated in the signing of the contract for the design and construction of section 3 of the Sibiu - Piteşti highway, of approximately 37 km. It is a contract of 5.3 billion lei (about 1 billion Euros), with a duration of 12 months for the design phase and almost four years for the construction proper. It is the most difficult of the five sections. The contractor must build 95 bridges and passageways, a tunnel with two independent galleries, with a length of 1.7 km /gallery, two road junctions and a wildlife bridge.
The most advanced lot of the entire highway is Sibiu - Boiţa, which has very high chances for opening by the time of the holidays, says Minister Grindeanu: “All five sections of the Sibiu-Piteşti highway have designated contractors. One of them, section 1, from Sibiu to Boiţa, is expected to be opened for traffic at the end of this year. Eventually, with a very long delay, we have these contracts signed, and those who won these tenders are expected to observe the terms of the contract. As I said earlier, after tens of years, we will eventually have the first highway that will cross the Carpathians."
It remains to be seen to what extent the deadlines will be met, given that the constructor of segment 3 is also working on the 30 km plain section between Piteşti and Curtea de Argeş, a much easier but delayed segment.
Dragoş Burlan, the contractor's representative, explains the delays: "On the 32 km segment there are about 146 bridges, which means that the embankment has been divided every 30 to 50 to 100 m. In order to be able to enter the embankment part, we focused first on these bridges before. We have started work on the embankments for about 5 weeks.”
The Transport Minister also announced that this month two construction sites are opening on the A7 Moldavia Highway, Ploieşti-Pașcani, financed under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan - PNRR. (LS)