Pelješac Bridge Opening Ceremony: New Details Emerge for July 26

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Peljesac bridge Screenshot/Morski/Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads)
Peljesac bridge Screenshot/Morski/Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads)

The first car to cross the Pelješac Bridge at the ceremonial opening on July 26 will be the Rimac Nevera, the most powerful electric vehicle today, produced by the Croatian company Rimac Automobili. Three-time European champion racecar driver Niko Pulić will be on the bridge’s other end. 

Nevera will start from one side of the bridge, and the famous Croatian racecar driver’s Croatian-made car on the other, before they both pass through fireworks.

After this show, the first to officially cross the bridge will be members of the first and fourth guard brigades, 40 of them on motorcycles, writes Jutarnji List.

The solemn opening ceremony of the Pelješac Bridge will begin at 8:15 pm, with a live broadcast on HRT, and everything should be finished by 10 pm, although there were some initial ideas that it should go past midnight.

The audience will be introduced to the entire program by brass bands and trombone players on HRT at 8 am, and a cultural and art program will last all day at the rest area on the Pelješac side.

The party will last until the fireworks and torches on the boats under the bridge begin with the Anthem of Freedom.

The government is still putting together the list of guests because many people are interested in coming. Therefore, there are few places in the official program and the actual ceremony location. There will be several hundred guests in total. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was invited to the ceremonial opening of the bridge since most of the project was co-financed by the European Union. The government is still waiting for the final confirmation of her arrival, which should happen in the coming days. Because of this, the final protocol, guests, and speakers cannot be determined yet.

The plan is for Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to address the guests via video message since the Pelješac Bridge was built by the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), and the Chinese Prime Minister visited the construction site in 2019 when he was on an official visit to Croatia.

All representatives of the contractors and designers of the bridge and the entire Croatian government were invited to the opening. In addition, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, with colleagues and ministers, and Speaker of Parliament Gordan Jandroković will attend the opening, and President of the Republic Zoran Milanović will also be invited.

The government says that they will try to invite all those who were in any way involved in this project, former heads of state and government, ministers, and members of parliament, but that there is also much greater interest, so the final list of invitees will have to be determined over a couple of days. Representatives from the county will also be invited.

There were also plans to open the bridge to pedestrians during the day, but this will not be possible due to the pyrotechnics in the middle of the bridge. Therefore, pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge, those who want to, only up to the first pylon on one and the other side, although it is intended for vehicles. That is why people will not be invited to come en masse to the bridge that day because there could be a traffic jam with cars. For this reason, transportation by minibusses is planned, and it will be possible to park much further from the bridge.

Space for guests is limited. Therefore, everything will take place in the rest area with two stages; one for the speakers and the other for the orchestra and performers, in addition to HRT’s equipment for live broadcasting.

Although Croatian Roads put up a sign that says “Pelješac Bridge,” it is just a working name, and the bridge will officially be called “Pelješki Most”. A new sign will be installed before the actual opening.

The key decision to finance it by the Union was made in the fall of 2017 after the Croatian side submitted an extensive argumentation to the Commission, which refuted all objections from BiH. A group of ten people, coordinated by Zvonimir Frka-Petešić, convinced the EC that the bridge’s height of 55 meters was more than enough for even the largest ships to pass under the bridge towards Neum.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.


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