The northern part of the newly-built bypass around the Romanian city of Constanta, on Pan-European Road Corridor IV, financed by the EBRD, has been opened to traffic today. The southern part of the 22.9 kilometre bypass road was completed in 2011.
The bypass will route heavy port traffic away from the town and will provide a free-flowing route for tourist traffic from the Romanian capital Bucharest and the north of Romania to the popular seaside resorts south of Constanta.
The project also includes the rehabilitation of ten major bridges in the Constanta region, and the reconstruction of part of the national road network damaged by the severe floods in 2005, for which the works are currently on-going.
The EBRD is financing this important infrastructure project with a €145 million 16-year loan provided in 2005, the Bank’s largest investment in Romania at that time. Part of the loan, equivalent to €56 million, was extended in Romanian Lei (RON 204 million) to enable mitigation of foreign currency risk.
The project is part of a larger infrastructure modernisation programme, including the modernisation of the Cernavoda-Constanta section of the Bucharest-Constanta Motorway, co-financed by the European Investment Bank, the Romanian government and EU cohesion funds.
“We are delighted to see the northern Constanta bypass open to traffic today. This new modern road built with the support of the EBRD will help relieve congestion in the Constanta area, thus reducing travel times, and will reduce pollution considerably,” said Claudia Pendred, EBRD Director for Romania.
"The opening of the northern Constanta bypass, which is the final section of the Bucharest-Constanta highway, will provide a direct link at its southernmost end to the port of Constanta. Improving access to the port, which is the largest port in Romania, will also have important implications for regional development in this key economic area of the country and eastern Europe," added Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport.
Supporting the modernisation of infrastructure in Romania remains a key priority for the EBRD. The Bank is currently working to support projects that facilitate the absorption of EU structural and cohesion funds.
The EBRD is the largest investor in Romania and has invested over €5.8 billion in various sectors of the economy, including €1.2 billion in infrastructure projects.