Skopje, 14th October 2011 (MIA) – With a loan from EBRD in the amount of EUR 5.6 million, City of Skopje will modernize the traffic management in the city and will reconstruct Prvomajska Street.
Mayor Koce Trajanovski and EBRD Deputy Director of Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, Lin O’Grady, signed the Agreement today. Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, also attended the signing ceremony.
EUR 2.9 million out of the total amount is envisaged for reconstruction of Prvomajska Street, as one of the critical urban corridors in Skopje that connects the downtown with the southeast part of the city.
“Prvomajska” will be widened in four lanes, with reconstructed pavement, new footways and cycle tracks, and new drainage, lighting and signage, including traffic signals. Realization should commence in February, if activities are going on as planned, and construction works are to be completed in eight months. The tender procedure, as Mayor Trajanovski said, is announced.
In addition to the reconstruction of the street, new modern, IT based, traffic management system will be introduced in Skopje, with the support by EBRD. It envisages improvement of the traffic on the territory of the city by introducing adaptive traffic control by installing new controllers at around 70 junctions, optic network for connecting the traffic light controllers, new traffic devices, traffic signs with changeable contents, traffic surveillance cameras, connection with the existing AVL systems in public transport and establishment of Traffic Control Center.
Mayor Trajanovski expressed his contentment with EBRD as a serious partner to recognize the priorities they are committed to as local government, which is the first in Macedonia to provide financial support directly from an international financial institution, without sovereign guarantee.
– The Project supports the City of Skopje in its commitment to improve traffic quality and safety. This is first partnership between EBRD and the City of Skopje, to provide for the Project to be implemented in line with the highest international standards, Mayor Trajanovski said.
Project implementation is also supported with EUR 880,000 as technical assistance provided by the Bank and the Government of Austria. EBRD financing is also attached to CIVITAS “Renaissance”, an EU funded project, which initiated the modernization of the traffic system in Skopje.
According to EBRD Deputy Director of Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, this project will be an excellent example of direct crediting helping the municipalities in managing local infrastructure and services. – The Bank sees the project as a contribution to the efforts put in improving the life in the City, O’Grady said, adding that such project should be also implemented in other cities in Macedonia.
Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, stressed that the Agreement was a proof that quality projects of the local government, supported by good financial partner, efficiently resolve the long-lasting problems of the citizens.
– This is a proof that when there is an agile mayor and government aware of the main local issues to be resolved, and when there is a good financial partner in the international financial institutions, it is very easy to make an agreement that will practically resolve one of the decade-long problems in Skopje, “Prvomajska” junction, which is important for the citizens not only in Kisela Voda Municipality, but also in the other municipalities in the vicinity of Skopje. Hundreds of thousands of citizens will be provided better infrastructure conditions and improved quality of their life, the Minister pointed out.
What is important, according to the Minister, is that the City of Skopje will be directly extended the loan, being one more proof of the credit and financial standing of the City of Skopje to borrow funds intended for good and quality financial conditions.
The loan is extended under exceptional conditions, the Minister said, with 12-year repayment period, three-year grace period and interest rate being 5.9% at the moment.