Black Sea Motorway
Black Sea Motorway is a key element for the national and European transport network and a logical extension to Trakia Motorway, connecting the main centres for economic development of the Black Sea coast region in the east part of Bulgaria – Burgas and Varna. The alignment is part of the Trans-European corridor VIII road infrastructure connecting the Black Sea region with the Adriatic and has the potential for carrying out combined transportation. The motorway is part of the future motorway ring road around the Black Sea and will contribute for the expansion of the crossborder and regional cooperation in the Black Sea region, as well as for the better fulfilment of its economical potential while reducing the transit coastal freight traffic and the negative impact on the environment.
The route from Varna to Burgas is currently operated by the overloaded road I-9. The new motorway will provide a high level of service, reducing travel time along the Black Sea coast and improving the road junctions between the Black and the Adriatic Sea. In addition it will strengthen the industrial and commercial relations between Bulgaria, Albania and Macedonia. The improvements of corridor VIII will provide a better integration between Eastern Europe and Northeastern and South-central Italy.
The implementation of the Black Sea Motorway will affect on the economical development of the country and the two coastal regions – Northeastern and Southeastern, as well as will contribute to:
□ establishment of better conditions for development of the coastal tourism due to improved transport accessibility, as well as due to diverting the transit and freight traffic along the new motorway, while reducing the environmental risks in the coastal area;
□ improvement of the transport services in the regions and the municipalities in the east part of the country by reducing the travelling time from Northern to Southern Bulgaria;
□ diverting the freight traffic along the motorway will create better conditions for improving the traffic safety and will optimize the road infrastructure maintenance costs;
□ provision of better transport services for the regional and local economy, i.e. better (fast and safe) access for goods and raw materials to the markets, which will improve the competitive power of the local products through the modernisation and development of Varna - Burgas transport axis;
□ stimulate the development of new economical activities in some of the smaller towns along the coastline, which in turn will contribute to the development of polycentric model of the populated places network.
History and available studies
The design process for the Black Sea Motorway initially started in in the last century in the 70s, when several route alternatives with approximate length of 100 km were identified during the feasibility study phase. The elaborated documents were reviewed by an expert technical and economical council from the Main Roads Administration (MRA) at the time. However a specific decision was not reached.
A route connecting Hemus and Black Sea motorways, designed as a standard carriageway for speed of 80 km/h, was developed as part of the feasibility studies, carried out in the 80s of the last century.
Follow-up feasibility studies have been prepared in 2002. They cover a number of different route alignments and a preffered “green” option has been selected from a total of six identified options. A summarized bill of quantities has also been elaborated which summarizes the quantities of the materials and their anticipated unit costs for each of the six identified options. A set of technical drawings were produced for the six identified options in July 2003. These correspond to the options identified in the previous feasibility study.
In 2011 Faber Maunsell (AECOM) prepared a cost-benefit analysis and a traffic forecast, based on the feasibility study from 2002-2003. The project was elaborated by a multi-modal transport model, originally developed for the purposes of the Bulgarian General Transport Master Plan. The results from the analysis show that the project is reasonable from an economic point of view.
EIA and appropriate assessment reports have been prepared in July 2008.
The available studies and investigations provide a good basis for further analysis and justification of the project. The investment costs assessment was carried out using modern methods and metrics and may be used for the purposes of comparison of the different options, where with some modification can also be used for the final financial and economical analysis.
The available data with view to the project′s environmental impact may be used for the purposes of comparison of the different options, as well as for the elaboration of the definitive EIA and Appropriate assessment.
Currently there is no funding for the preparation of the Black Sea Motorway. An updated and additional feasibility study has been completed in 2013 which includes financial and legal analysis for the implementation of the Black Sea Motorway through a concession for construction. The feasibility study allows the project to be presented to potential investors in order to structurize private financing and to reduce state expenses.
Feasibility study for the implementation of the Black Sea Motorway, 2013