Romanian motorway promises show impressive growth

In late 2017-early 2018 Romanian officials promised the completion of 100 km of motorways by the end of 2018. At the beginning of this year, road infrastructure management company CNAIR announced that by the end of the year another 180 km will be finished in the country that is severely lacking in motorways – of its three large regions, Moldova doesn’t have a single meter of motorway.

No, that is not strictly true – Moldova does have an exactly one-meter stretch of motorway, complete with road signs, markings and barrier. It was built by a local businessman in protest of the authorities dragging their feet when in comes to road construction. Shortly after the CNAIR announcement – seeing how this is a year with presidential elections coming up in November – Senate President Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, with complete disregard to the previously released figure, promised that 180 km of motorways will be completed by the end of the year.

Other politicians of the country’s ruling Social Democrat-Liberal (PSD-ALDE) coalition picked up the figure themselves and it sort of became official. For months, CNAIR did not update its promise, spokesman Alin Șerbănescu only said that they will have to go over the plans again before modifying their forecast, but the firm eventually yielded to political pressure and went with the new “official” figure of 180 km.

But a series of studies quoted by news portal ziare.com recently concluded that even in the most optimistic scenario, 68 km of new motorways could be completed by the end of the year, but in a more realistic estimate that figure could be  only 43 km. The reasons are various – the building firm just discovered that one stretch goes over a landfill, making construction more cumbersome. Another stretch may be delayed because of the delay in delivering the metal barriers, while a third is severely hindered by the insolvency procedure against the Italian main contractor.

In 2018 – against the promised 100 km – Romania finished just 60 km of motorways.


Author: Dénes Albert