The foundation stone of the new, 1.8-kilometre road connecting the A87 main road and the Austrian B61a road with a new border crossing point near the Kőszeg border crossing station was laid on Friday.

he Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Parliamentary State Secretary and Deputy Minister Levente Magyar pointed out that the connection of the two high-traffic roads represents the settling of an age-old debt in view of the fact that Kőszeg and the Austrian state of Burgenland were closely linked for centuries, but the Iron Curtain severed and artificially distanced the diverse economic, cultural and human relations between the two. “Not even thirty years was enough to undo the destruction of the past one hundred years and enable the restoration of every strand of the fabric of relations, but ever since Hungary has had a national government this reconstruction has been continuously accelerating”, he stated.

The Deputy Minister spoke about the fact that five new road links between Hungary and Austria have been constructed in recent years, and the construction of a further five is planned by 2021, the first of which is the road linking Kőszeg and Rattersdorf (Rőtalva). “Two new motorway links will be constructed up to the border in the direction of Burgenland and Austria during the next two years, one of which will link Burgenland and Sopron, while the other will link Rábafüzes to Burgenland via Körmend”, he explained.

In his speech, Burgenland’s State Councillor Heinrich Dorner highlighted the opportunities afforded by the development of tourism and economic relations in connection with the new road. He added that road construction is always a sensitive topic in Austria, and accordingly the population and non-governmental organisations were included as much as possible during the planning of the Austrian stretch of the road. With relation to the development projects affecting Kőszeg, the region’s Member of Parliament Péter Ágh (Fidesz) highlighted: “The results of the preparative work of recent years are increasingly beginning to show, as also indicated by the recently refurbished nursery schools and the solar panel park officially inaugurated a few days ago”. The aim of the new road linking Kőszeg and Rattersdorf is to bypass the Kőszeg border crossing station and the town of Rattersdorf and divert the increasing levels of traffic.

On the Hungarian stretch of the road, the construction of 625 metres of the road is occurring along a new route, in addition to which 200 metres of the existing A87 main road will be refurbished. The project is being realised at a cost of 1.5 billion forints (EUR 4.6 million), 30 percent of which is being financed by the European Union’s V-A Austria-Hungary Cooperation Programme, with the remaining 70 percent paid for by the Hungarian State. According to plan, the construction work will be completed by the summer of 2021.