Disputes over the ownership of terrains that had to be disowned and cleared for the accompanying infrastructure were stalling development of the project to construct a second bridge on the river Danube, linking Bulgaria and Romania, Dnevnik daily said on October 29.
Transport Ministry was still expecting to get an independent evaluation of 20 land plots by November 5, to be able to complete the compensation negotiations with the owners of the terrains.
On October 26, Deputy Transport Minister Vessela Gospodinova signed a contract with Spanish company FCC Construccion for building the infrastructure adjoining the bridge that would link Vidin in Bulgaria with Calafat in Romania. The deal, worth 62.6 million euro envisaged that FCC Construccion would by 2010 build a 15 km railway line, the electrical and lighting system, an international cargo railway station, the reconstruction of a railway station, four two-level transport links and others. Another agreement was signed with a consortium led by High-Point Rendel of the UK for oversight of construction works on the adjoining infrastructure.
Land disputes delayed signing of the two contracts by two months because of some ill-judged steps by the Vidin Municipality. The local authorities did not offer the terrains to the Transport Ministry but divided some of them into smaller parts and sold around three hectares of the land that were to be used for the bridge according to a Government decision. Now, the Cabinet had to pass a new decree for the land plots to be disowned. However, the decree would not go into force before mid-December.