The proposed project would assist the further restructuring of the road sector and would finance the construction of the Pitesti By-pass (15.2 km), part of Pan European Corridor IV.
The Pitesti By-pass would significantly improve traffic flows for the transit traffic. The by-pass would relieve congestion and improve the environment within Pitesti. The project would result in high road sector transition impact.
Transition impact would stem from (i) restructuring road financing; (ii) strengthening road management by commercialisation; (iii) reforming the institutional and regulatory set-up; and (iv) investigating the feasibility of road financing through public-private partnerships.
The borrower would be the National Administration of Roads (NAR), the guarantor would be the state, represented by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). NAR is an autonomous "régie" (state corporation eligible for national budget allocations), whose general director is appointed by the Ministry of Transport. NAR is responsible for the administration and management of national roads.
A 15-year sovereign loan, equivalent to €60 million, to NAR. The Romanian government would finance the balance of the project cost.
Equivalent to €116 million, including taxes and land cost.
Screened A/O, a first phase Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out by a team of international and Romanian consultants, financed by EU-PHARE. The EIA, which has been reviewed by the EBRD’s Environmental Appraisal Unit (EAU) and local environmental authorities, examines the environmental impacts associated with the design, construction and operation of the by-pass. Specific impacts considered include "geologic elements" (extraction as well as erosion impacts) soil, water resources, climate and air quality, aquatic and terrestrial ecological elements, noise and human settlement. None of these impacts appear to be significant and can be adequately addressed through mitigation measures. The new by-pass is expected to bring environmental benefits to Pitesti by alleviating the present heavy traffic flow in the city with its accompanying negative environmental effects.
The Bank has required a number of additional elements to be incorporated in the EIA, including a more thorough discussion and comparison of the environmental impacts associated with the four project alternatives. Conforming to the EBRD's Public Information Policy, the EIA was released for public comment on 20 July 2001. An announcement of the public release of the EIA was made in the following Romanian newspapers: Curierul National - 20 July 2001 and Argesul - 19 July 2001. A public meeting was held on 2 October 2001 to allow the relevant authorities and the public to make their views known. No significant concerns surrounding the environmental impact of the project were raised at that meeting. Following the public meeting, a final EIA was prepared summarising the issues raised and responses to them. This includes an environmental action plan outlining specific mitigation and monitoring measures to be undertaken during construction and operation.
Technical cooperation (TC) funding will include:
EU-PHARE to assist with feasibility study due diligence;
EU-PHARE 1999 Bangkok Facility to assist NAR/MoT in (a) road sector restructuring; and (b) preparing a PPP strategy for roads focused on a future motorway.
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