Bratislava, Slovakia – The much-anticipated highway connecting Bratislava and Kosice in Slovakia appears to finally near completion… in neighbouring Hungary, according to local reports.
If you’re wandering why the fastest route linking Slovakia’s two largest cities goes through Hungary, well, you’re not the only one.
“If you have ever dreamed of a direct motorway connecting Kosice and Bratislava, this year your dream will come true. The last section connecting our two largest cities should be opened. But it has one catch. It will not be in Slovakia,” sarcastically reports local media.
Even today, many Slovaks travelling from east to west or the other way around could use the Hungarian M30, which is still not fully completed.
But local authorities announced that the last 58-kilometer stretch of the M30 connecting the border town of Tornyosnémeti to Miskolc would be completed in the autumn. This would allow Slovaks to use the highway to travel back and forth between Kosice and Bratislava, for lack of better option at home.
Slovakia’s authorities have been trying to complete the D1 between Bratislava and Kosice, the country’s two largest cities roughly separated in the middle by the High Tatras, for years. This long-running issue, slowly turning into a mythical pipe dream, has been causing headaches to successive governments unable to secure the necessary funding or complete all the stretches that need to be finalised to finally give the country a cross-country highway between its capital and Kosice, Slovakia’s second-largest city in the east.
The first deadline for completion was set for 2006, but has repeatedly been postponed and delayed to at least 2025.
Several stretches, including between Turany and Hubova and around the eastern city of Presov, are still under construction.
Historically, the D1 highway was meant to provide a fast motorway all across the former territory of Czechoslovakia, linking the Czech cities of Prague and Brno all the way east to Mukachevo, located in modern-day Ukraine.
Construction of the D3 highway 60-kilometer stretch, connecting the city of Dolny Hricov near Zilina to the Slovak-Polish border, has also dragged on for years, with completion expected in four to five years.