Romanian businessman builds world’s shortest highway in bid to shame government over lack of roads

An entrepreneur in northeastern Romania has built the world’s shortest highway – measuring just 1 meter wide – in protest over his country’s poor highway infrastructure.

Fed up with the sparse motorway network in his home region of Moldavia, Stefan Mandachi, a 33-year-old who owns a chain of fast-food restaurants, privately commissioned the tiny motorway at a personal cost of £3,800 (€4,400; $5,000).

Mandachi said he grew tired of broken promises made by the government over the last 30 years to improve road infrastructure, so he acted himself.

Image capture of video via News 4 U’ YouTube account

“We are the poorest region in Europe. And I want highways here, in Moldova, in my region. Here, in Suceava, in my city!” entrepreneur Stefan Mandachi told Euronews.

What started out as one small step for Mandachi is turning into a giant leap for Romanians. This is the most recent in a series of protests as citizens become ever more active in voicing their grievances against what they see as a broken political system.

Mandachi has also called on the help of other businesses and people to support his “Romania wants motorways!” campaign.

Image capture of video via News 4 U’ YouTube account

So far, it has proved popular with tens of thousands of people across Romania coming together to offer support.

The 1-meter highway near the city of Suceava was officially opened in the presence of the local mayor, Neculai Miron, on Friday.

“We have asked repeatedly for infrastructure projects financing, but we got very little, so we had to manage at a local level. For the communal infrastructure we got some European funding for a 5.2 km road and for the rest of our projects we will use the local budget,” Miron said.