According to “Borba” newspaper, a high-speed road, and not a highway will connect Veliko Tarnovo to Ruse and it will pass just 3 km west from the old capital. This was made clear by the investment project, which has already been submitted to Veliko Tarnovo Municipality. The documentation shows the project route on the territory of the municipality. However, the difference in status is not significant for the comfort of travellers.
The high-speed road will cross the present first-class road before the village of Momin Sbor, where a large road junction is envisaged. The route will also go directly to the Hemus Highway, its connection will be about 10 minutes by car northwest of Veliko Tarnovo. It will take about fifteen minutes to get onto the Hemus Highway. A road junction is also planned in the area of Debelets, in the direction of “Bryasta” complex, where it is supposed to connect to the road for the passage of the republic.
Guaranteed financing is provided for the construction of Hemus Highway near the old capital. At the end of last year, the government of Boyko Borisov provided the necessary budget of 1.35 billion leva. The deadline for construction of all 134 kilometres is until the beginning of 2023.
The situational plan confirms both the priority importance of the two major infrastructure projects for the government and the transformation of Veliko Tarnovo and the municipality into an intersection of the two European corridors. Currently, a one-month deadline for submitting objections to the investment project for the Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo road is underway, and a procedure for coordination with the operating companies and interested institutions is underway, in accordance with the provisions of the Spatial Planning Act. The route is to be approved by the Agricultural Land Commission at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests. The contract for the search of archaeological sites will be signed in early November 2019.
The only obstacle for the Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo road, however, may be the status of the road. In the Supreme Court case against the Environmental Impact Assessment, magistrates came up with a decision on a “highway” basis, while a “high-speed road” was fixed in the national strategy, which changes the case. According to the experts, the difference between a highway and a high-speed road is quite significant not only in terms of technical indicators and design because of the maximum speed of traffic – 120 and 140 km respectively but also in the way of intersections, connections and organization of traffic.