Exploration of the cross-border sections of projects associated with Transport Operative Programmme (KÖZOP) at the feasibility study level and the assessment of their impact on the border section between Hungary and Romania

muszaki_adatok_cim

Technical data

Building trades

road design
traffic engineering
railway and catenary design
utility design
bridge and structural design
geotechnics

Principal

Közlekedésfejlesztési Koordinációs Központ

Project value

132,000.00

Design value

278.30 millió Ft

Years of completion

2012 to 2014

Years of construction

2015

In its full length of 453 kilometres, the border section between Hungary and Romania cuts the Great Hungarian Plain into two, with a non-natural geographical border line. There are no particular geographical obstacles to passage through the border, nonetheless, there are only 10 road and five railway connection points between the two countries. There are border-crossing points for passenger cars at 45 km intervals on average, and only four border-crossing points can be used by heavy goods vehicles.
The design study prepared for revealing new network connections along the border section between Hungary and Romania was aimed at assessing so far hidden opportunities. During the mapping of the new border crossing connections, a clear picture was outlined about both the missing and the already existing border-crossing elements. Through the construction of facilities for eliminating the deficiencies, new opportunities may open in social and economic cooperation between border regions, and ethnic minority, cultural and living history connections between separated communities may become stronger.
The invitation to tender for the work was guided by the idea that the economic and transport integration between the currently separated Hungarian-Romanian border regions is implemented by exploring major transport corridors between the two countries and opportunities for the development of the connected subsidiary road network.
The study had to construe the frontier zone taken in a wider sense (at least to a depth of 50 km in each country) as a potentially uniform economic area, and had to think, as far as possible, not in the Hungarian (and the separate) Romanian transport systems, but in an assumed/desired integrated, uniform network. We wished not to connect, but to create a coherent system and to integrate, and this change of paradigm had to permeate the whole work process. Therefore, on the basis of Western European models, the study had to go beyond the type of rigid and fixed ‘borderline’ concept, which attributes necessarily separating and, to a certain extent, insuperable nature to it.
The complexity and uniqueness of the assignment required the application of a completely new type of study and analytical methodology in several respects. The elimination of obstacles between two economically interdependent areas belonging to different states and representing entire regions, had to be prepared without the concerned parties being always aware of this very strong dependence, which exists primarily on the Hungarian side. Since a number of communities near the border have already been isolated from the ‘other side’ for multiple generations, a considerable part of the population have lost their relations on the other side over the decades, and thus, quite naturally, they are and cannot be aware of the potential benefits provided by border-crossing facilities. All this made the possible assessment of real demand in society significantly more difficult; to this end, research exploring latent demand was carried out.
The study names 66 public road projects on the border section between Hungary and Romania. Study milestones were as follows:

  1. A comprehensive feasibility study was prepared, which showed and evaluated the quality of transport infrastructure and connections in the whole area of the border section as well as the relationship between the development level of the economy and society and the development alternatives for transport connections in detail, then identified a group of border crossing points, which it evaluated on the basis of efficiency and risks. The study was prepared on the basis of an overall transport approach, with an outlook to development alternatives for public and bicycle transport.
  2. Of the ranked connections that may be developed, 40 border crossing facilities to be examined at a partial feasibility study level and to be devised were selected after specialist consultations.
  3. Drafting of an action plan proposal.
    As part of the completion of the task, traffic surveys and preference studies relating to the selection of means of transport were carried out, and FŐMTERV also performed macro- and micro-simulation modelling and cost-benefit-based and multi-criteria project evaluation.