After many years of discussion, a contract was finally signed for the construction of a tunnel under Shipka Peak. The idea of a direct connection between North and South Bulgaria dates back 125 years. It is expected that this will increase traffic safety and facilitate the passage of drivers on both sides of Stara Planina mountain throughout the year. This project will also have a positive impact on tourism, as well as the economic and social development of the region. According to the Road Infrastructure Agency, with the construction of the tunnel, heavy goods traffic should increase by more than 90 percent, and light traffic – by more than 50 percent. Calculations show that traffic through the tunnel will be twice as high and will increase to more than 10,000 vehicles per day. The facility should be completed in 3.5 years.
The public procurement envisages the construction of a section with a length of 10,549 km, of which 7.96 km are new construction, and 2.59 km are reconstruction of the existing road I-5 Gabrovo – Kazanlak, as well as 5 tunnels with a total length of 4,011 km. The tunnel under Shipka will be 3.22 km long and will be the longest road tunnel built so far in Bulgaria. The other 4 tunnels are smaller – 171 m, 240 m, 90 m and 290 m, respectively. Another 6 bridges and 1 underpass will be built.
The tunnel under Shipka Peak will be 1 km west of Shipka Pass and 1 km east of Malusha Peak. The northern part of the facility will be in Gabrovo district, and the southern – in Stara Zagora district. It will have two lanes, two leading lanes and two sidewalks. The facility will be a key point in the north-south traffic and it will be used to cross Stara Planina mountain in the central part of Bulgaria. The main transport directions that it will serve are: Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo – Shipka – Stara Zagora – Svilengrad (Makaza) and Oryahovo – Sevlievo – Shipka – Stara Zagora – Svilengrad (Makaza).
The project “Design and construction of the site:” Bypass of Gabrovo from km 20 + 124.50 to km 30 + 673.48, including the tunnel under the Shipka peak “is included in the project of the Program” Transport Connectivity “2021-2027.
The value of the project is BGN 358,020,000 with VAT. The term for execution of the order is 240 days / 8 months / for design and 1280 days / 3.5 years / for construction.