Regional Broadband Infrastructure Development

Orient/East-Med Corridor: North Macedonia – Bulgaria CVIII Road Interconnection, Kriva Palanka – Deve Bair Section

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Project Financing

WBIF Grant WB-IG03-MKD-TRA-02 € 2,470,000
EBRD Loan € 9,680,000
National contribution Own Contribution € 370,000
Other Grants External Grant € 200,000
Total € 12,720,000
Total Grants € 2,470,000
Total Loans € 9,680,000

Project Description

This investment project will rehabilitate and construct a 13.2 km-long motorway on a section of the Orient/East-Med Core Network (Corridor VIII) in North Macedonia, from the town of Kriva Palanka to the Deve Bair border crossing point into Bulgaria. Travel conditions on the existing road are poor, with a maximum speed of 50 km/h along most of its length, inappropriate drainage and rest areas, as well as several sharp curves.

The proposed works include both rehabilitation and reconstruction, expanding the road to add a third lane, including on three existing bridges. This will allow for more efficient and safer driving for the people living along the Kriva Palanka – Deve Bair route as well as for those transiting to and from Bulgaria.

Corridor VIII connects Tirana, Durrës, and Vlorë in Albania to Skopje in North Macedonia, and then both countries to Bulgaria, via the border crossing point in Deve Bair. Only 36% of the entire road network in North Macedonia has been upgraded to modern standards to date. The section to be rehabilitated and expanded under this project is part of the Government’s plan to modernise fully the route, with works close to completion and/or already planned on a significant part of Corridor VIII (e.g. Kumanovo – Rankovce; Kičevo – Ohrid).

The project is at the tendering stage, with detailed design and urban and environmental permits already in place. It has benefited from a €2.47 million EU grant under the 2018 Connectivity Agenda through the WBIF.

Results and Benefits

  • 13.2 km-long motorway section rehabilitated, including a new third lane, a rest area, road marking and signalling as well as drainage;
  • Substantial decrease in travel time along the Kriva Palanka – Deve Bair route;
  • Reduction in accident rate and vehicle operating costs for more than 2,000 people working and/or living along the route as well as for almost 3,000 people who daily cross the border;
  • More than 144 jobs created during construction as well as operation and maintenance periods;
  • Improved trade flows with countries in the region and thus a positive impact on the broader economy of North Macedonia.
  • Countries: North Macedonia
  • Code: PRJ-MKD-TRA-013
  • Sector: Transport
  • Monitor IFI: EBRD
  • Status: Preparation
  • Beneficiary: Public Enterprise for State Roads
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