The main contract will be signed later this month.
In the second half of this month, the contract between the Croatian Roads (Hrvatske Ceste) public company and China Road and Bridge Corporation for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge with access roads will be signed. The signing will occur just a month after the rejection of appeals in the tender process because the agreement was part of the tender and further negotiations are not foreseen, reports Jutarnji List on April 3, 2018.
Immediately upon signing the contract, the Chinese consortium will start with organising the construction site. But, before that, a contractor for supervision of the works will have to be selected. This tender is still underway, and the selection of the winning company is expected this week.
Still, no spectacular changes on the construction site should be expected soon. Due to a change in the design of bridge pillars, the contractor must first prepare a new planning project for the four pillars. According to the main design project, 14 additional boreholes between 14 and 103 metres in depth will have to be drilled. This will define the exact height of individual pillars.
According to estimates, the preparation phase of the project should be completed in about six months. No visible parts of the bridge are expected to be seen at the site for at least ten months from the start of the works. “The first parts of the bridge will rise from the sea about ten months after the start of the works. After a year and a half, we will see two pillars and the span construction,” said Marijan Pipenbaher, the chief bridge designer. Two pillars made in 2007 will be demolished, and works on the steel construction will start at a separate location.
In recent days, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has launched an initiative to bring together Croatian construction companies so they would jointly enter into negotiations with the Chinese consortium on performing some of the construction works on the Pelješac Bridge.
Mirjana Čagalj, vice-president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in charge of construction, traffic and communications, says that the share of works for Croatian companies could be significant if the government supports the project. The HGK believes that the percentage could reach between 30 and 40 percent.
Still, the Chinese consortium has no legal or contractual obligation to use Croatian companies. This is a matter of their business decisions and ultimately goodwill. The Public Procurement Act prescribes that a major contractor may engage subcontractors for up to 30% of contracted works, while the European Commission’s directive stipulates that the engagement of subcontractors is a business decision of the contractor and that the governments must not interfere.
According to estimates, around 1,000 workers will be employed during the three-and-a-half-year construction of the bridge. For now, only representatives of Skladgradnja have admitted that they are in talks with CRBC about the Pelješac Bridge. Unofficially, other companies are also interested. We will have to wait for a few more months to find out which ones.
Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Krešimir Žabec).