Romania, Bulgaria agree on second Danube bridge

BUCHAREST, Jun 6, 2000 -- (Reuters) Romania and Bulgaria signed an accord on Monday to build a second bridge over the Danube, boosting regional cooperation and trade between southeastern and central Europe via a route bypassing sanctions-bound Yugoslavia.

The new bridge would link the Romanian port of Calafat with the Bulgarian town of Vidin.

The estimated cost of 190 million euros ($179.2 million) will be funded by Bulgaria through foreign credits coming mainly from the European Union. Bulgaria had initiated the project.

Road and rail links to the bridge are also expected to get aid. Romania plans to raise $1 billion for this infrastructure, Of which $700 million would go to laying down a second track in the railway between Calafat and the Hungarian border.

The only existing Danube bridge between Romania and Bulgaria is a 44-year-old, two-lane rail and road span connecting the Romanian port of Giurgiu and the Bulgarian town of Ruse.

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