EU Cohesion Policy: The largest bridge over the Danube opens for circulation

One of the biggest Cohesion Policy-funded projects, the Brăila bridge in Romania, is inaugurated today. It will connect the Black Sea ports and the Danube Delta with the rest of the country and with the wider Trans-European Transport Network. The EU’s contribution to this project amounts to €363 million from Cohesion Policy funds.

2 km long, 38 meters above the water and with four lanes, this suspended bridge is the largest in Romania and the largest over the Danube and, overall, the third largest suspension bridge in the EU.

Better mobility and economic development

The bridge will allow the free transit of vessels. It will replace a slow and unreliable ferry link, which is often interrupted during winter and bad weather conditions.

The bridge is expected to cut travel time by around 50 minutes and serve around 11,400 physical vehicles a day. This will greatly benefit labour mobility, tourism and trade, and reinforce the region’s links with the rest of the country. It will also enhance mobility and economic development by increasing travel speeds and safety, offering local communities easier access to healthcare, public and commercial services across the South-East region in Romania.

The project will also contribute to the building of 23.4 km of transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges, junctions, level crossings and overpasses to serve the needs of people in the Moldova and Dobrogea regions.

An impressive structure

The bridge is a technological marvel for its towers and anchoring system. The main cables make around 81,000 km – a length comparable to twice the circumference of the Earth – and have a guaranteed lifetime of 120 years. The anchor blocks with their 47 m in diameter are buried 31 m deep, figures that very few bridge structures in the world match.

The bridge and parts of the access roads are operational as of today, while the construction of the remaining access roads is expected to be finalised by the end of 2023.


In 2019 the Commission approved the EU financing of the bridge in Romania following a feasibility study that analysed the possible alternatives to connect the two parts of the country ensuring a viable crossing of the Danube.

The preservation of Romania’s natural heritage was an essential criterion in all phases of the project’s preparation.

The bridge fits into the broader package of investments funded by Cohesion Policy in the Romanian transport network aiming to promote a multimodal transport system, close missing links, and improve safety and cross border connectivity.

During the 2014-2020 programming period, Romania received a total over 24 billion under EU Cohesion Policy, a substantial part of which (€5.6 billion) was dedicated to improving the network of infrastructures in transport and energy. In the current 2021-2027 period, Romania will receive €31 billion from Cohesion Policy funds, including €4.6 billion for road, rail and water transport infrastructure.