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Romania's capital is to have first suspended highway, connecting the east and west of the city, but activists say the project is expensive and will only worsen pollution.
Bucharest City Council has approved a 1.5 billion euro project to construct the first suspended highway connecting the west and east of the capital, aimed at reducing traffic jams.
The express road is to be 13km long and will have six lanes, several bridges and two three-lane tunnels, according to officials.
“This will the most complex road structure in Romania and will finished in the coming four years,” Sorin Oprescu, Bucharest's mayor, said.
He said the new highway was “highly necessary in order to reduce the traffic jams in Bucharest, as the city was not designed to withstand such heavy road usage”.
But many experts oppose the plans. “Traffic is a big problem in Bucharest but the project is very expensive and will only solve part of the problem," Nicusor Dan, from “Salvati Bucurestiul” (Save the Bucharest) organization, said.
"It would be better to make the city centre less congested instead of building a large road that will increase the amount of vehicles and pollution,” he added.
“Whilst most European capitals rely on better public transport and try to divert traffic from the centre of the city, Bucharest is doing the contrary.”
Early this year, the mayor came under criticism for another plan to tear down an old indoor marketplace to make way for an enlarged road that will cross the capital.
Many other buildings, including 15 houses with significant historical heritage, have been or are set to be demolished soon.
In the two decades since the overthrow of the Communist regime, Bucharest has gone through a massive period of urbanisation, which has seen many historical buildings razed to make way for commercial developments.
Meanwhile, many parts of the city have become increasingly grey and polluted as a result of green spaces giving way to new businesses.
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.