The FINANCIAL — The European Union is supporting the construction and rehabilitation of Moldova’s roads with €15 million grant financing provided through its Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).
The grant complements investments by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a total of €300 million, according to EBRD.
An agreement in this regard was signed on May 5 between the Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure and the EBRD, the financial institution that manages the road rehabilitation programme.
Signing the document, Moldova’s Minister of Transport and Road Infrastructure Vasile Botnari said that this important investment aims to support the authorities’ efforts to improve the quality of the national road network.
“A well-developed road network is essential for growth and for better quality of life in Moldova. We expect that the investments and grants from our European partners will improve the condition of roads in the country and will bring us closer to the European Union,” he added.
Attending the event, the Head of the EU Delegation in Moldova, Ambassador Pirkka Tapiola, added: “We are pleased to continue our support for the rehabilitation of the road network in Moldova which is already bringing visible change to the country. The work we do together with our partner EBRD creates more opportunities for social mobility and internal and external trade.”
Julia Otto, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Chișinău, said: “Located at a geographical crossroads and bordering the European Union, Moldova is in a position where roads are becoming increasingly important for the prosperity of the country and the wider region. Better roads will help spread economic development to remote regions, bring producers closer to their markets and take people to their destinations more safely.”
The EU grant will be used for the construction of the six kilometre-long Bahmut bypass on the R1 Chișinău-Ungheni-Sculeni road to the Romanian border and the 8.5 km-long Vulcăneşti bypass on the M3 Chișinău-Giurgiulesti road.
The construction works will include new earthworks, footbridges, water-management systems, and the relocation of utilities as well as the installation of road signs and road markings. The seven metre-wide roadway will consist of two lanes. In addition, a 40 metre-long bridge over the Cahul River will be built on the Vulcănești bypass.
The two bypasses will reduce operational costs for road users by 10-15 per cent, creating more comfortable and safer conditions for both freight and passenger transport.
To date, the EU has supported the rehabilitation of 23.7 kilometres of the Balti-Sărăteni road and the 7 kilometre-long Ungheni bypass which is currently under construction.
These efforts are part of a large programme to build and rehabilitate 700 kilometres of Moldovan roads, supported by donors and international financial institutions.