Despite Coronavirus, Croatia Completing Joint Project With BiH

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes on the 11th of April, 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Sava Bridge near Svilaj and the Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina border crossing are in the final stages of construction, the Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced.

”In the coming days, the testing of the bridge with a trial load, the drawing of horizontal signalling, technical inspections and the obtaining of a permit will follow,” announced the aforementioned ministry, and their information is in accordance with plans that the bridge near Svilaj will be in use by the autumn of this year at the latest.

It should be recalled that this is a joint investment from both the Republic of Croatia and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina in the total amount of 23 million euros. Since the Svilaj bridge is part of the pan-European Corridor Vc, Croatia has, for its part of the investment, obtained European Union (EU) co-financing with a maximum allowable amount of 57.79 percent of the investment. In addition, Croatia is paying for the construction of the bridge through a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The construction of the Svilaj bridge, along with its access roads, began back on the 17th of March 2017, with the then Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hann, presenting the foundation stone, along with Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic. The bridge is 660 metres long in total, 29 metres wide with three lanes in each direction which are 3.5 metres wide.

With the completion of the Svilaj bridge, Croatia will take an additional step towards completing its part of the international Vc corridor in the direction of Budapest-Beli Manastir-Osijek-Sarajevo-Ploce. The Croatian part of the corridor is the A5 Beli-Monastery-Osijek-Svilaj motorway, boasting a total length of 59 kilometres.

At a Government session held on the 25th of March this year, the Croatian Government gave the green light for the conclusion of a loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) of 55 million euros for the completion of the remaining Croatian share.

According to the aforementioned Government decision, the Halasica-Beli Manastir bridge section should be completed by the end of this year, regardless of the coronavirus crisis which has seen everything else grind to an unprecedented halt, while the construction of the right of way to the border with Hungary will occur in 2021 when the A5 section is fully completed.

Connecting Central Europe through the Hungarian and Croatian Danube basins with Bosnia and Herzegovina, building a modern road linking Bosnia and Herzegovina with the southern Adriatic and Ploce port, and cross-border traffic connections between Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are just some of the goals that will be achieved with the construction of the A5 motorway and the rest of this large project.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business section for much more. For more on coronavirus in Croatia, follow this section.


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