Feature 15 May 17

Romanian Mayor Revives Danube Channel Dream

Bucharest Mayor Gabriel Firea says she is working on updating a feasibility study for a channel linking Bucharest with the Danube, an ambitious project scrapped after the Ceausescu regime fell in 1989.

Ana Maria Touma
The inauguration of the Danube-Bucharest Channel construction site in 1986. Photo: National History Museum of Romania.

Reeds, weeds and ruins are all that is left of the site where Romania’s late communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu wanted to build a channel linking the capital, Bucharest, with the port of Oltenita on the Danube.

The location, in 1 Decembrie village, on the banks of Arges River, an hour by bus south of Bucharest, has turned into a swamp that reeks of dead animals.

But the Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, announced last week that she wishes to revive the idea, order a fresh feasibility study and seek European funding for the mammoth project.

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