6 November 2008 | Experts from Romania and Bulgaria have begun discussing a proposal to construct a cable car lift across the Danube River that would connect the Bulgarian city of Ruse to the Romanian city of Giurgiu.
The cable car would run parallel to the only bridge that connects the two countries across the river - the Danube Bridge, also known as the Bridge of Friendship, which was constructed in the 1950s.
In addition to lightening traffic on the bridge and increasing mobility between the two cities, proponents of the cable car’s construction say it will serve as a tourist attraction.
According to initial projections, about 8 million euro will be needed for the design and construction of the cable car, the Bulgarian Dnevnik newspaper reported. Funding will be sought from the Romania-Bulgaria Cross-border Co-operation Operational Programme for 2007 – 2013, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which has as one of its priorities accessibly, aimed at improving mobility and access to transport infrastructure in the cross-border area.
It remains to be seen whether this proposal will materialise or go down the drain, although the need for better connections across the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania is indisputable.
In addition to the Danube Bridge, there are nine other border crossing points between two countries, consisting of seven ferry routes and two inland crossing points near the Black Sea.
The idea to construct a second bridge that would connect the towns of Vidin (Bulgaria) and Calafat (Romania) in the western part of the border, has seized people’s imagination since the 1980s. However, for two decades the project saw numerous symbolic digs and no actual progress. As BalkanTravellers.com reported in March, however, the latest deadline given for its completion in 2010 may actually be realistic, as many of the important issues surrounding the second bridge’s construction – such as the construction firm bid and the land disputes, have already been solved.