Preparations for Highway to Dubrovnik Continue, Feasibility Study Sought

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes on the 1st of February, 2020, Croatian Motorways (Hrvatske ceste) has signed a contract with the Trafficon Pro urbe business association to develop a study on connecting southern Dalmatia to the motorway system, adding a highway to Dubrovnik, which actually marks the completion of the Zagreb-Dubrovnik motorway.

HAC expects the Trafficon Pro urbe association to create a study two routes within the aforementioned interconnection of southern Dalmatia into the highway system. The first direction is from the Metkovic junction on the A1 motorway to the future Peljesac bridge, and the second from the Doli junction down to the City of Dubrovnik in the very south.

With regard to the Peljesac bridge and access road profiles, one of the questions that the aforementioned traffic connection study will have to answer is the feasibility of a full highway profile with the option to begin the construction of two-lane thoroughfares.

The Croatian Government ordered HAC to commission the study at its session in Dubrovnik last February. On this occasion, Minister of Maritine Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, expressed his expectations that the transport connection of southern Croatia to the A1, more specifically the highway to Dubrovnik, would receive European Union (EU) co-financing, much like Peljesac bridge did.

On the other hand, according to the provisions of the respective open call from HAC, the study is actually not linked to EU funding. HAC will allocate 2 million and 387 thousand kuna for the preparation of the study, and the successful bidder in the tender is obliged to submit the ordered document, completed by the end of this year.

At the aforementioned session in Dubrovnik, members of the government didn’t mention either the amount of investment in connecting southern Dalmatia with the A1 motorway, nor did it mention the actual date of commencement of the works. The expected deadline for completion of Peljesac bridge is August the 1st, 2021, and the access roads should be completed one year later.

When it comes to the cost of completing the highway to Dubrovnik, Jutarnji list recalled the now distant 2009 calculations when the previous idea for the project to build a highway to Dubrovnik was studied, which would have come with a hefty price tag 732 million euros for 80 kilometres of highway from Ploce in the Neretva valley down to Dubrovnik. In this variant, ten viaducts and eight tunnels would need to be built on the imaginary thoroughfare.

Since a part of the highway from Ploce to Dubrovnik was indeed constructed in the meantime, and the study ordered may suggest different routes that would be used by the roads from previous solutions, the said amount of cash needed when it comes to the actual investment will certainly be changed when in comparison to 2009.

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