99.7%-Complete Bridge to Finally Get Remaining 0.3%

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The Drava Bridge, whose construction was stopped two years ago even though it was 99.7% completed will finally be finished next spring. The Croatian Motorways (HAC) public company has signed a contract with contractors to complete the remaining 0.3 percent of the bridge, reports Večernji List on November 18, 2018.

The contract for the construction of the Drava Bridge is worth almost one billion kuna. The works started in 2011 and should have been completed by the end of 2013. The contractor was a consortium of local construction companies consisting of Viadukt, Osijek-Koteks, Konstruktor-Inženjering and Hidroelektra Niskogradnja.

The works were first late and then completely stopped due to a dispute between HAC and contractors about construction costs. The contractors said they would continue with the works only if HAC paid them additional 202 million kuna. HAC has offered them a deal with 94 million kuna of extra costs, which the contractors have apparently accepted. The result of the agreement is the signing of an agreement for the bridge completion.

The remaining works are worth about three million kuna, and the majority of the cost refers to anti-corrosion protection. HAC claims that the remaining works will mainly be done by Osijek Koteks, with the help of Zagreb Montaža. They have already paid an advance of 700,000 kuna to the Swiss company VSL for the purchase of anti-corrosive supplies. However, since the delivery of the goods will last about three months, the final works will not begin before early next year. Experts estimate that the Swiss company will need a maximum of two weeks to complete the job once the supplies arrive.

Along with the completion of works on the bridge, a tender for the construction of the motorway section on the Croatian part of Corridor 5c, from Halasica to Beli Manastir, will be published. Croatia still needs to construct the 17.5-kilometre section, as well as a 5-kilometre section from Beli Manastir to the border with Hungary.

According to sources, negotiations are ongoing with the EBRD about a loan for the construction of these remaining 22.5 kilometres of the motorway. The total value of the works is 100 million euro. The lending conditions will be favourable, with interest rates up to one percent and the repayment period of between 15 and 25 years. The final decision on the loan is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

The tender for the construction of Halasica to Beli Manastir section will be announced by the end of this year, while the construction itself should last until late 2020. The remaining section and a connection to the Hungarian motorway system should be completed by 2023.

For more on Croatia’s motorway system, click here.

Translated from Večernji List (reported byJosip Bohutinski).


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