More than 100 cyclists—professionals and amateurs, Americans and Moldovans, diplomats and local residents—took part in a bike ride earlier this week to help showcase MCC’s work renovating the Sarateni-Soroca road in northeastern Moldova.
Starting in near-freezing temperatures, more than 100 cyclists traversed 46 miles of the smooth asphalt of the road, which was recently completely rehabilitated through MCC’s five-year, $262 million compact with Moldova. U.S. Ambassador to Moldova William H. Moser and Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca joined the ride, as did 47 professionals competing in a 25-mile race.
Leanca—wearing a cycling jersey emblazoned with the national flag and riding a bike with an American flag tied to the handlebars—called the race a “fantastic event.”
The compact’s Road Rehabilitation Project included more than 58 miles of a strategic international thoroughfare, including full reconstruction of 38 miles of roadway, renovation and new construction of 14 bridges, the addition of 13.6 miles of sidewalks in 14 villages, lighting along 12½ miles of the road, installation of seven miles of iron guardrails, 2,113 road signs and more than 9,000 road reflectors. The project pioneered the country’s first environmentally beneficial use of cold-recycling of asphalt and was the first road in Moldova to introduce enhanced road safety measures, such as road reflectors at road crossings and curbs.
It was a major accomplishment, and the road race was just one way MCC and MCA-Moldova (the local organization implementing the compact) are helping draw attention to the project.
“This road is a gift from the American people to the Moldovan people, and the bike ride was the perfect way to celebrate the dedication of this road for the people, by the people, and of the people that will benefit every day from the rehabilitation of this road,” Ambassador Moser said.