Seven kilometres of new road to improve connection to EU border and divert heavy traffic from city of Ungheni
Ambassador Peter Michalko, Head of the European Union Delegation in Moldova and Moldova’s Prime Minister, Pavel Filip, have launched a bypass around Ungheni, a city which sits on the country’s border checkpoint to the European Union (EU).
The construction of the 7.7 kilometre-long road was financed by the EU and is part of a large-scale programme to upgrade and build key roads in the country with various investments and grant funding totalling €670 million from the EU, the EBRD, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank and the US government foreign aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation.
With two one-way lanes and several connecting roads, the bypass improves the connection to the EU border, shortening the distance from Chisinau by 11 kilometres. It will take people to their destination faster and more safely, while facilitating trade between Moldova and the EU.
The new road will divert at least 400 heavy-duty vehicles daily from the city centre of Ungheni. This will reduce congestion, lower pollution, keep the air cleaner and improve the quality of life for around 35,000 local inhabitants of the city and its surrounds.
Ambassador Peter Michalko said: “The Ungheni bypass road which we open today will make this country’s connection with the European Union and with the EU border easier and more convenient. It will also facilitate business and exchange of goods and merchandise, while reducing congestion and lowering pollution for the benefit of the people who live here. With the joint efforts of all partners involved, we managed, through EU support, to bring European standards of living closer to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, helping them live better, easier lives through this new infrastructure.”
Prime Minister Pavel Filip added: “The works on this bypass have lasted some time. There have been obstacles and delays. Today, however, we are happy with this beautiful result. This is our way to the European Union. Long, complicated, sinuous. But this is the one we have chosen. Perhaps this is not the easiest way, but for us it's the only way. We are not taking a bypass, we are going ahead, clearly and firmly, on this road to the European Union, and I am sure that one day we will enjoy beautiful results. The government appreciates the support and assistance provided by the EU.”
The mayor of Ungheni, Alexandru Ambros, commented: “Ungheni is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign investors as its road infrastructure is being modernised, thus creating a favourable investment climate.”
Serghei Diaconu of the Automobile Club of Moldova welcomed the high road safety standards of the new road. “The EU’s assistance has resulted in quality and safe road infrastructure, which is a way to reduce the number of traffic accidents and resulting fatalities. However, road safety largely depends on us – the central and local public authorities and most importantly on all traffic participants. It is up to us to make the best of it.”