Transylvanian motorway project scares off five out of six bidders

The route through Transylvania will involve building 49 bridges and viaducts (Dreamstime)
Five out of the six teams shortlisted to build a $1bn stretch of motorway in Romania have failed to submit bids by the 20 October deadline, according to the National Company for Road Infrastructure Management (CNAIR).

The only candidate to submit a bid was a joint venture between two Istanbul-based contractors, Mapa Group and Cengiz Holdings.

The tender is for the second section of a 122km highway between Sibiu and Pitesti. This extends 31km over mountainous terrain from the town of Cornetu, on the western outskirts of Bucharest, to the commune of Boita in Transylvania.

When complete, the road will be the first motorway to cross the Carpathian mountains, linking the capital to the country’s western border. It is divided into five sections, with the Cornetu–Boita considered the most challenging, since it will involve building 49 bridges and viaducts and seven tunnels with lengths of up to 1.5km.

In July, six teams were chosen from a long list of 15, and were given two months to prepare their tenders, later extended to three.

Mapa and Cengiz will now have 18 months to design the entire project, and 50 months to build it. Funding will be supplied by EU grants.

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