Completion of Čiovo Bridge Delayed Once Again

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Croatian Roads public company has terminated the construction contract for the bridge.

Croatian Roads public company has initiated the procedure to terminate the contract with Vijadukt on construction of the bridge between mainland and the island of Čiovo, said on Friday CEO of Croatian Roads Josip Škorić, reports Večernji List on March 31, 2017.

“Regrettably, after extensive analysis which we have conducted together with Vijadukt and the Transport Ministry, we have made the decision to launch the procedure for termination of the contract. Since the project came to the stage where we cannot fully control it, we had to make such a decision, keeping in full view the works which have been completed, which is around 57 percent of the total works”, said Škorić.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković said that it was not an easy decision to make, but added that it was a very important, strategic project for Croatia. When we became aware that the project would not be finished by mid-June, we had to find “a reasonable, logical, the only possible, and maybe even a little bit painful decision,” said Butković. It is in the interest of both Croatian Roads and the government to complete the project, to preserve the funding of the project since it is co-financed by the European Union, and for the project to be completed as soon as possible, by the end of this year, added Butković.

CEO of Vijadukt Krešimir Mikolić said that he believed that the investor did take into account all aspects of the project and made the best decision in order to continue with the project, so that citizens of Trogir, Čiovo and surrounding areas could use the bridge as soon as possible.

The total cost of construction is about 207.9 million kuna, with 176.7 million kuna coming from the European Union funds.

Vijadukt was selected as the contractor in November 2014, after Croatian Roads conducted a public tender process which involved seven bidders. The contract to build the bridge was signed in February 2015, with the completion deadline of 20 months, by the end of 2016. However, Vijadukt’s engineers soon realized that the project envisaged construction on the soil that is not suitable for foundations. Another problem was the steel structure which was supposed to be produced by a Macedonian company in Greek ownership, which was left without financing after the collapse of Greek banks.

The deadline to complete the works was moved to the middle of June this year, and late last year the company still claimed that the bridge would be finished on time. However, in mid-March Croatian Roads announced that it had been informed by Vijadukt that works would not be completed this year.

On Thursday, Vijadukt reported that its bank accounted had been frozen. Shares of the company plunged by 35 percent. On 13 March, shares were selling for slightly more than 400 kuna, while on Friday morning the shares were around 170 kuna.


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