The project, which includes the design and construction of Shipka Pass Tunnel, is estimated to coast some BGN 135M (USD 89M). If the tender process is successful, the construction of the tunnel could begin in 2014. The construction of Gabrovo’s ring road could begin as early as spring next year.

The Shipka Pass Tunnel, of which Bulgarian governments have talked for ages, is supposed to provide a badly needed transport connection between the North and the South of the country, which are naturally separated by mountains.

The tunnel is supposed to become a crucial part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor No. 9 connecting Helsinki in Finland with the Greek Mediterranean port Alexandroupolis, going through Bulgaria’s Ruse and Gabrovo. The Shipka Pass Tunnel will provide a faster route from the Danube River to the mediterranean.