A highway that would connect the Republic of Moldova with the European road infrastructure and the European economic corridor could be built in at least ten years. Currently, the project "Moldova wants a highway", which establishes a connection between Munich - Vienna - București - Târgu Mureș - Iași - Chișinău - Odessa is being reviewed, while an impact study is to be conducted. Statements in this regard were made during a meeting of the Economic Press Club.
"We want to offer the actors from Moldova, Ukraine and Romania, the opportunity that is brought by this connection with the European corridor. This connection will especially impact Moldova's European integration. In parallel with the energy interconnection, the highway could provide us with a greater connection with the European economic space”, said the Development and Expertise Project Institute director, Iurie Calestru.
According to estimates of international experts, the cost of the highway would reach one billion euros for the Ungheni-Chișinău segment and an additional 1.8 billion euros for the Chișinău-Odessa section. The cost of the feasibility study would reach ten million euros for the Ungheni-Chișinău segment and 22 million euros for the Chișinău-Odessa section.
According to Iurie Calestru, an impact study of the project, but also a vox populi regarding the highway, could be done next year, if the Delegation of the European Union supports the project. "The impact study would help us have a framework document that would serve as a solid basis for the pre-feasibility studies, while the vox populi would help us document the wish of the citizens."
He added that discussions in this regard, between the government, the European Union Delegation and the international financial institutions are planned for 2020. According to Iurie Calestru, it is in the interest of external partners to support the initiative.
Andrei Cuculescu, project infrastructure expert at the Development and Expertise Project Institute, says that the highway on the territory of Moldova could represent the continuity of the highway that is currently being built in Romania. He argues that commencement should start now, because the pre-project process is long-lasting.
"After the study is drafted, expropriation will take two years, while in parallel, the project can be elaborated. Upon approval, the tender will be announced. It will take at least five years for the construction works to begin. The time frame of the works depends on the number of companies that execute it, the fastest estimate being at least 8-10 years”, says the expert.
Viorel Miron, president of the Tourism Development Association, believes that, as the quality of the road infrastructure increases, the quality of investments related to tourism along the access corridor also increases. The quality index can be calculated. According to the tourism representative, the motorway project expertise must answer to the following questions: what impact will the highway have on the environment; what added value does it brings; how does it impact society and tourism?
The project "Moldova wants a freeway" was launched by the Development and Expertise Project Institute.