County President Ionel Bogdan, during a press conference for the project, Source: Maramures County

Romania will build a new bridge to Ukraine

Romania will build a new bridge to Ukraine

With the refugee influx and Ukraine gaining EU candidate status, Romania is expecting border traffic to increase

Last week, the Maramureş County Council in Romania signed a deal to construct a bridge over the Tisza River on the border with Ukraine. The bridge will replace a previous wooden construction in the town of Sighetu Marmație and, according to local leaders, it will have a profound effect in terms of opening the county to cross-border trade and traffic.

The County Council President, Ionel Bogdan, went as far as to call the event ‘a historic moment’ for the region, as he claimed this will be the largest infrastructure project in Maramureş since the fall of Romania’s Communist Regime in 1990.

maramures bridgeA visualisation of the project, Source: County Maramureş 

Opening up connections with Ukraine

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, between 5 and 8 million people have fled the violence across the border with the European Union. Around 42,000 people crossed into Romania in the neighbouring Suceava county, just after a week since the start of the conflict. Furthermore, current UN estimates put total legal border crossings with Romania at around 790,000 people.

The situation, however, revealed a problem – the border infrastructure between the two countries proved insufficient in some cases. One of the reasons for this is that Romania and Ukraine are not big trading partners. According to data by Trading Economics, 2021 was their biggest year of trade to date, however, bilateral trade was still relatively low.

This is all about to change, though, with the Russian war displacing more people and the EU granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.

A wooden bridge no more

Previously, traffic between the two countries in the county was handled by a wooden bridge in the border town of Sighetu Marmației, which was built in the year 2000. The new bridge, however, will consist of two separate lanes and will be 260 metres long. The project will cost around 147 million lei, or around 30 million euros and should be completed in 24 months.

County President Ionel Bogdan was quoted in a press statement saying: "This investment objective is of strategic importance for Maramureş, because it will contribute to the economic development of our county, to the intensification of international trade and to the increase of the quality of life of the people in the county."



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