Vukovar Water Tower Reconstruction Continues

Total Croatia News

The water tower is the symbol of the town’s suffering during the Homeland War.

The reconstruction project of the Vukovar water tower and its opening to the public should be completed by the end of this year, or in early 2019 at the latest, said Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava talking in reference to the progress of the reconstruction of the symbol of Vukovar and the Homeland War, reports on January 21, 2018.

“The contractor entered the site on 24 May 2017, and by 31 December around 5.5 million kuna was spent on reconstruction. The project is divided into three phases, the first stage being the construction works of the tower itself. The second phase is the construction of accompanying facilities, such as a restaurant, an amphitheater, playgrounds, and horticulture. This phase is estimated at 8.8 million kuna. The third and final phase of the project is interior decoration,” said Penava.

Ivan Veber, an advisor on the project, said that works on reconstruction of the existing structure are being carried out, which includes the addition of reinforcement in order to repair and strengthen the current concrete structure. New steel structures are being installed, and works are being carried out for the installation of a panoramic lift that will be located on the outside of the tower. The tower will also feature a steel structure for the installation of a memorial pathway, a steel staircase, and new roof panels.

“The hardest thing for us at the beginning was the removal of a water tank weighing about 120 tons. Only then it was possible to see the real damage to the construction. After all, we can say that the water tower has gone through a lot and that, given how many times it was hit during the war, it’s a miracle that it didn’t collapse,” said Boris Benić, the chief engineer of the Planum company, which is a contractor on the project.

The total value of the water tower renovation project amounts to about 26 million kuna plus the value-added tax. Nearly 6,000 citizens and businesses from Croatia and the diaspora were involved in the collection of funds, which was initiated by the Town of Vukovar. The funds were also raised through donations via about 300,000 telephone calls. A total of approximately 18.5 million kuna was collected, and the government will cover the rest of the cost.

The Vukovar water tower was built in 1968 as a replacement for the former water tower, which didn’t have enough capacity for the growing needs of the town. It is 50 meters high and, at that time, with a tank capacity of 2,200 cubic meters, it was one of the largest towers of its kind in Europe. In 1991, during the battle for Vukovar, the water tower was heavily damaged by Serbian forces. It was hit by more than 600 missiles and became a symbol of both the suffering and the brave resistance of the town.


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