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Romanian Motorways Update - Dec 2013

27 December 2013. (c) 130km.ro.

So what happened with Romania's motorway proejcts in 2013? First, an updated motorway map:

The motorway sections opened in 2013 are:

May 2013A1: Orastie - Simeria17.7
Jul 2013A4: Lazu - Portul Constanta2.0
Dec 2013A1: Sibiu - Orastie Section 416.1
Dec 2013A1: Sibiu - Orastie Section 219.8
Dec 2013A1: Sibiu - Orastie Section 124.1
Dec 2013A1: Deva - Lugoj Section 1 (partial)17.4
Dec 2013A6: Balint - Lugoj11.0

Total length of segments mentioned above is 108.1 km (vs. 127.0 km opened in 2012).

Today, Romania's A1 motorway is 50% open, as follows (starting with its Western end):

  • Arad-Nadlac: contracts for both sections were canceled due to fraud and insolvency, repsectively. A new contract was awarded for Section 1, with the opening planned for 2014; new contract awarding for section 2 is in progress (with the opening date also in 2014, hopefully)
  • Timisoara-Arad is open since 2011
  • Lugoj-Timisoara: section 1 opened in 2012, section 2 is under construction (estimated opening in 2015)
  • Deva-Lugoj: section 1 is ready (17.7 km opened in 2013, the remaining 10 km waiting for an access road); contractors were selected for the other three sections, estimated opening in 2015
  • Orastie-Deva: opened in 2012-2013
  • Orastie-Sibiu: sections 1,2 and 4 opened in 2013; section 3 will open in 2014
  • Pitesti-Sibiu: things are a bit more complicated with this one; this section was delayed as the Comarnic-Brasov route on A3 is currently favored for crossing the Carpathian Mountains (Sibiu bypass is open since 2010)
  • Bucharest-Pitesti, Romania's first motorway, is open since 1972 (Pitesti bypass opened in 2007).
To conclude, things are looking up for A1 (except for the Pitesti-Sibiu section). With luck, the entire stretch between Sibiu and Romania's Western border should be ready by 2015.

No news for the A2 motorway (Bucharest - Constanta), which was completed in 2012.

Things aren't that great for the A3 motorway (Bucharest - Bors), though:

  • Bucharest-Ploiesti was opened in 2012, but the remaining 6.5 km connecting it to Bucharest will be ready in 2014-2015
  • Ploiesti-Brasov: a contractor was finally selected for the essential Comarnic-Brasov segment which could open in 2017
  • Brasov-Targu Mures: no part of this segment is open or under construction; it could open in 2018, but we think that's optimsistic considering no steps were taken to reach this deadline
  • Targu Mures-Gilau: Campia Turzii-Gilau was opened in 2009-2010; there's no news for the remainder (same 2018 deadline but no action)
  • Gilau-Bors: the contract for the only segment under construction, Suplacu de Barcau-Bors, was canceled. A stretch of 8.7 km between Gilau and Nadaselu is under construction and might open in 2015
2 additional kilometers were opened on the Constanta bypass (A4), connecting it to the Constanta Port. There have been discussions to extend A4 all the way to Romania's Southern border, but there were no updates on this in 2013.

Other motorway projects saw action this year besides the more well known A1-A4. Contractors were selected for all 4 segments on Sebes-Turda, a section of the future A10 motorway connecting A1 and A3. The deadline is in 2016 - optimistic, but doable. Another connection between A1 and A3 (Sibiu - Brasov) was also discussed in 2013.

For the Southern part of the country we saw the first opening on the future A6 Lugoj - Calafat motorway, a 11 km stretch between Balint and Lugoj. A new motorway between Craiova and Pitesti was also discussed and is currently being planned.

The Targu Mures - Iasi motorway was also discussed this year, but high costs got these discussions nowhere; all sorts of routes were discussed for Romania's Moldova region (Bucharest - Ploiesti - Focsani - Bacau - Pascani, Ploiesti - Buzau - Focsani - Albita, Bucharest - Suceava - Siret, Suceava - Satu Mare, etc), but nothing came out of this. A contractor was selected for the Bacau bypass, which could be the first motorway section to be opened in Moldova.

Other projects that were discussed this year included the Southern part of the Bucharest bypass and the Romanian section of Timisoara - Belgrade (Serbia).

To recap, in 2014 we expect both segments of Arad-Nadlac and segment 3 of Orastie - Sibiu to open on A1 (61 km in total) and that's about it; 2015 looks better, with 107.5 km in planned openings on A1, and about 15 km on A3, but things may not always proceed as planned, as it usually happens.

2016 and 2017 may be more interesting with openings for Sebes-Turda and Comarnic-Brasov respectively; we'll just have to wait and see what happens.