Slovak Transport Minister Ján Figeľ and his Polish counterpart Slawomir Novak laid the foundation stone of a bridge that will connect the two countries over the Poprad River in the village of Mníšek nad Popradom in Prešov Region on March 26, the TASR newswire reported.
The construction work, which is co-financed with EU funds, should be completed in January 2014 at a total cost of €6.8 million. The costs will be initially born by the Slovak government but Poland will refund its share later.
The existing bridge at the border crossing between Mníšek nad Popradom and Piwniczna can be used only by vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes. The new bridge should be free of any restrictions and should also serve as part of a cycling route to the Polish town of Nowy Sacz.
"Slovakia and Poland are traditionally good neighbours. We need to build road connections that will improve the conditions for developing cross-border business activities and for developing tourism in this scenic part of central Europe. The project serves as a model for using EU funds, for connecting neighbours and countries with safe roads," said Figeľ, as quoted by TASR.
The current border crossing is used by around 2 million tourists each year.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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