HISTORY OF THE BULGARIAN ROAD ADMINISTRATION
History shows the development of roads is the result of the economic and social development of the nation.
The Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 enabled the formation of the road administration of our modern state.
By the time of the Unification in 1885 the roads in Bulgaria were managed by two different administrations due to the division of Bulgaria.
In 1882 the Ministry of public buildings, agriculture and trade was established by Decree No. 463 of the Prince, with the function of road management, and the Minister appointed was general Leonid Sobolev. The Law on Municipal Roads was enacted in the same year. On 8.10.1882 by Decree No. 736 of Prince Alexander I, the Bill on making, remaking and maintenance of roads, elaborated by the MPBAT, was submitted to the State Council for consideration.
On 3 April 1883, Prince Alexander I approved by Decree No. 267:
Law on making, remaking and maintenance of state roads.
Law on making, remaking and maintenance of provincial roads.
Rules for roadmen, which governs the supervision and maintenance of roads.
In 1885 the roads management was assigned to the Ministry of Finance.
In 1887-1888 a bill on roads in Bulgaria was prepared.
On 19.11.1893 the IV Grand National Assembly established the Ministry of public buildings, roads and communications, which unified the governance of roads, architecture and railways, with minister Dimitar Petkov. In 1893 the minister of public buildings, roads and communications submitted to the National Assembly a bill on roads in Bulgaria. The bill was enacted on 20.12.1893 and provided the proper foundation for road works in Bulgaria. The main provisions of this law were:
o Roads were divided into three categories: state roads, provincial roads and village roads;
o Supreme supervision over roads was to be exercised by the ministry.
The X Ordinary National Assembly approved and voted on 20.01.1900 the Law on state and municipal roads, by virtue of which roads were categorized as state and municipal roads.
At the first session of the XIII Ordinary National Assembly the minister of public buildings, roads and communications submitted a bill on amendments to the Law on state roads and municipal roads, which was passed on 22.12.1903. The amended Law on roads of 1903 stipulated clear provisions on making, repair and maintenance of roads.
At its third session the ХIII Ordinary National Assembly on 19.12.1905 voted on Law for making of a part of the road network, which was enacted on 16.01.1906. In the same year the National Assembly passed the Law on the Office of General Directorate of roads, public works and buildings.
On 25.01.1911 the National Assembly passed the Law on amendments to the Law on state roads and municipal roads.
Following an amendment of the Constitution of Tarnovo, on 18.01.1912 the Ministry of public buildings, roads and public works was established. Dimitar Yablanski was appointed Minister.
On 07.05.1912 the ХV Ordinary National Assembly voted on the Law for amendment of the Law on state roads and municipal roads of 1911.
Another important step undertaken by that law was the transfer of 2,000 km of the state roads to the category of municipal roads, to relieve the maintenance of the state road network.
In early 1904 the amendment to the Law on roads in Bulgaria provided for establishment of the "Municipal roads" Fund, which was put to the disposal of the ministry. At the same time the rights of technical staff responsible for municipal roads were defined.
In 1919 Alexander Stamboliyski was appointed Minister of the MPBRPW, and later on – Prime Minister, Minister of War and in charge of the MPBRPW. His government, through the Ministry of public buildings, roads and public works submitted two laws to the National Assembly, one of them the Law on roads. This law, providing for the making, repair and maintenance of roads, was passed by the National Assembly on 21.06.1920.
In 1922 the road network in our country had a total length of 10,940 km, of which 6,897 km state roads and 4,043 km municipal roads.
On 30.09.1920 the State Gazette published Rules for the implementation of the Law on roads. On 11.03.1935 the National Assembly passed a Law on amendment to the Law on roads.
On 04.01.1926 by Decree of King Boris III Slaveiko Vasilev was appointed Minister of the MPBRPW.
Throughout the period to 1927, during his term of office, there was a definite progress in the construction, repair and maintenance of municipal roads.
On 01.12.1928 the Law on the Ministry of public buildings, roads and public works was passed. It governed the work of the General Directorate of public buildings, roads and public works.
Throughout the period 1930-1932 with the Ministry of public buildings, roads and public works (MPBRPW), with the "Roads and bridges" unit, services and offices were established for design of roads and bridges. It should be noted that at during this period for the first time ever the budget of the ministry for 1925-1926 provided for specialized staff for the test station with the "Roads and bridges" unit. One important fact for that period was that the law of 1920 provided for establishment of a fund, earmarked for roads.
On 12.12.1934 by Decree No. 215 the Ordinance-Law on roads was approved. The texts of this Ordinance-Law set the steady foundation for further development of our road network. The law put an end to the various categories of roads, defining all roads as state roads and classified them as I class, II class and III class roads.
In the meantime, in 1934 the MPBRPW merged with the Ministry of railways, posts and telegraphs, but the next year – 1935 – the two ministries were separated.
Decree No. 26 dated 27.01.1936 enacted the Ordinance-Law on the organization and operation of the "Roads" Fund with the MPBRPW. The Fund was an autonomous state department.
In 1938, by an Ordinance-Law, the General Directorate of construction works was established with the Ministry of public buildings, roads and public works, which was appointed to implement construction of roads. On 28.04.1938 by Decree No. 141 of King Boris III the General Directorate of construction works was established as a body within the MPBRPW. The Directorate had three departments, one of them for roads. The "Roads" Department of the General Directorate was in charge of maintenance, repair, layout and construction of new roads and bridges.
In late 1944 the length of completed roads was 22,195 km. That period was characterized by partial reconstruction of several roads of particular economic and strategic importance.
By Resolution of the Council of Ministers dated, 03.01.1948, the design organization "Patproekt" was established under the authority of the Roads Administration with the Ministry of construction works and roads.
By Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 922, dated 24.12.1952, the General Roads Administration was established with the Council of Ministers.
On 13.03.1950 by Resolution No. 600 of the Council of Ministers the State Construction Economic Group for road construction was established.
At the start of the period, on 01.02.1957, the General Road Administration was transferred to the Ministry of municipal economy and public works, which was renamed to Ministry of municipal economy, public works and roads, with minister Stoyan Tonchev. By Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 34, dated 06.03.1957, "Administration of roads and local construction works" and Research and Engineering Institute were established with the Ministry of municipal economy, public works and roads, including a "Roads" department.
The "Roads" administration with the Council of Ministers was established on 12.03.1959. The Presidium of the National Assembly appointed Ivan Vinarov head of the "Roads" administration by Decree No. 213, dated 17.03.1959. On 27.11.1959 the Council of Ministers approved the Decree on roads by Resolution No. 240.
On 04.11.1961 the Council of Ministers approved Order No. 2084 for publication of Rules for road design.
The Presidium of the National Assembly approved by Decree No. 445 the decision of the Council of Ministers, dated 17.10.1962, for accession of Bulgaria to the Convention on Road Traffic, signed in Geneva on 19.09.1949.
One important point in the development of roads in this country was the "General long-term plan for development of the road network through the 1963-1980 period", approved by the Council of Ministers, including a scheme of the major reconstruction of the road network.
By Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 72, dated 19.06.1963, a self-supporting Construction organization "Patni stroezhi" was established with the GRA. This resolution also included a decision for joint financing of the reconstruction of the III class road network by the provincial people's councils and the GRA. Order No. 832 of the Council of Ministers approved calculated rates for ongoing repair and maintenance of roads, and that was an important point for providing financial support for such type of road operations, considered one of the basic types of operations.
The Presidium of the National Assembly enacted a new Law on roads by Decree No. 1482, dated 20.11.1969. The most important feature of the approved "Major guidelines for the development of the road network through the 1970-1975 period" was the provision for start of construction of motorways in Bulgaria. On 25.01.1971 the Rules for implementation of the Law on roads was approved. At the beginning of this period the GRA was transferred to the Ministry of transport. The transfer was put into effect by Order No. 173 of the Council of Ministers, dated 01.08.1973. That period was also marked by intensified construction of new roads and repair of all roads of the road network.
By order of the minister of transport, dated 1 July 1983, the Administration for maintenance of motorways was established with the General Roads Administration. The Administration was the first specialized body of this kind, designated for an activity of entirely new nature.
The centralization of operations reached its peak when, by Resolution No. 16 of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers, dated 26.06.1986, the Economic group "General Roads Directorate" was established on 01.07.1986, intended to enhance the governance of road works in this country. In implementation of the Law on state and municipal procurement (SG, No. 9/31.01.1997) and the Law on Public Procurement (LPP) (SG, No. 56/22.06.1999), which replaced the former, all road projects (of value exceeding BGN 10,000) are to be awarded following a tender procedure.
"Avtomagistrali" EAD – Sofia was established by Order No. 40 of the Council of Ministers, dated 13.05.1994.
In 2000 by Order No. 6 of the Council of Ministers and on the basis of the operations for maintenance and ongoing repair some 63 EOOD companies [sole proprietor limited liability company] were established with the Provincial road administrations. Throughout that period the Law on roads of 1969 was in force.
As from 8 August 2006 the Executive Agency "Roads" (EAR) was transformed into "National Road Infrastructure" Fund (NRIF) with the minister of finance, as from 12 August 2006. The NRIF is universal successor of EAR.
As from 8 August 2008 the Road Infrastructure National Agency is the universal successor of the "National Road Infrastructure" Fund (promulgated in the SG, No. 69 of 5 August 2008). On 9 August 2008 a new Executive Director was appointed - Dimitar Ivanov, M.Sc.Eng. The Supervisory Board of RINA was elected on 24 August 2008. On 9 September 2008 new Rules came into force concerning the structure, operations and organization of work of the Road Infrastructure National Agency and its administration (adopted by RCM No. 219 of 05.09.2008, promulgated in the SG, No. 79 of 9 September 2008)
On 17.10.2008 Dimitar Ivanov, M.Sc.Eng., submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria. On 21.10.2008 the position of Executive Director was taken by Ivan Atanasov, being an Acting Executive Director.
On 5 December Yanko Yankov, M.Sc.Eng., was appointed Executive Director of RINA. As from the same date Ivan Atanasov returned to his position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
On 30 July 2009 pursuant to order of the Prime-Minister M. Sc. Eng. Yanko Yankov was relieved of his post and M. Sc. Eng. Dimiter Ivanov was appointed Executive Director of the National Road Infrastructure Agency (NRIA).
With effect of 9 September 2009 pursuant to the amendments in the Roads Act NRIA was transformed in Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA).
As of the same date the Central Road and Bridges Laboratory (CRBL) was transformed in Central Institute of Road Technologies, National and European Norms and Standards.
The management of RIA consists of three-member Management Board. As of 23 September 2009 M. Sc. Eng. Dimiter Ivanov was appointed Chairman of the Management Board. M. Sc. Eng. Klaus-Dieter Stolle and Mr. Bojidar Yotov are member of the Management Board.
On 21 October M. Sc. Eng. Dimitar Ivanov was relieved of his post and Mr. Bojidar Yotov was appointed Chairman of the Management Board.