For the new metropolitan ring, a new IDA – Intercommunity Development Association was founded between the municipality of Oradea and the County Council and further partnership agreements were signed with the three localities involved. This is not the only case when a new IDA was formed – whenever available financing is identified, the team also decides on the most efficient way to apply, meaning that sometimes, especially for large projects, a separate IDA formed only from the beneficiaries of the project is created.
In most other cases, however, an association agreement was signed between the Bihor County Council (whenever the project involved segments classified as county roads), Oradea City Hall, Oradea Metropolitan Area and the localities involved in the project. Partnerships with the National Road Infrastructure Management Company were also established, as in the case of the ring road of Sanmartin, the largest commune in the MA.
The partnership with the National Road authority is part of a proactive approach to accelerate the implementation of key infrastructure projects, based on the new enabling legislative context. Since 2020, local authorities can take over the preparation and implementation of projects from the National Company for Road Infrastructure Management (CNAIR) in order to counter the risk of losing EU money due to the slow pace of project implementation. As such, the Metropolitan IDA has taken over the preparation process for the construction of the direct road connecting Oradea to the A3 highway, elaborating the feasiblity study and financing request, so that CNAIR could apply for EU funding. Moreover, the IDA also handles the necessary expropriations and ensures the mediation with the owners.
Similarly, at a larger scale, the Oradea-Arad Express Road offers a best practice example through the proactive involvement of the local authorities and impactful inter-jurisdictional cooperation. The implementation partnership agreement involved Oradea municipality, Bihor county, Arad municipality, Arad county and the National Company for Road Infrastructure Management (CNAIR). A separate association agreement was signed between the four local and county-level partners. This express road will be connected to the A1 and A3 motorways and will foster regional and metropolitan development, benefitting from financing through the Transport OP 2021-2027.
In terms of financing, one of the key assets of the Oradea Metropolitan Area is the capacity to mobilize local funds for investments, as many of the new roads are financed through the local budgets of the Oradea City Hall and the partnering localities. Whenever possible, national and EU funding was accessed to fund major investments, such as the Metropolitan Ring and the direct road to the A3 highway.
Extra tip: When it comes to expropriations, sub-evaluations are a key challenge, prompting owners to go to court. These sub-evaluations are due to the fact that according to the national law on expropriations for public utility (Law 255/2010), the price needs to be evaluated according to the notarial grid, and not the market value. As many of the sales occurring through the notarial offices are often declared at a lower value by the counterparts, this affects the evaluation of private assets when it comes to expropriations. As a result, owners go to court, objecting to the evaluated price of their property. To ensure a better planning of the budget for expropriations, the metropolitan IDA also takes these differences into account.
Videos: Oradea-Santandrei road: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peJvmhVNUpw&ab_channel=FlorinBirta