The final of a total of 148 planned permanent pillars was installed at the site of Pelješac Bridge on Thursday night. The hammer of the Xong Cheng 1 crane installed the last, 126.6 metres tall pillar, reports Večernji List on May 11, 2019.
According to the construction plan, the last permanent pillar was supposed to be installed on May 21, which means that the Chinese builders from China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) have completed this phase 12 days ahead of schedule. The longest pillar is 128.6 metres tall and weighs about 230 tons, while the shortest one is 36 metres long. The diameter of the pillars is between 1.8 and 2 metres. The Croatian Roads public company says that the next phase is for the sludge to be extracted from the steel pipes and discharged, according to the environmental impact study, at a location 21 nautical miles from the site of the future bridge.
While the pillars are still underwater, it is expected that they will become more visible starting from October. The first phase of the construction has passed according to estimates and without additional, unforeseen costs.
There are currently 150 Chinese and 55 Croatian workers at the construction site of Pelješac Bridge. CRBC has pledged to build the bridge within three years from the date of its arrival at the site, which means by the end of July 2021. It is possible that the works will be finished ahead of schedule.
The construction of access roads, however, has not yet begun. Croatian Roads need to re-issue a decision on the contractor for the Duboka-Sparagovići section after the initial decision on the selection of the Greek company J&P Avax has been annulled. They are yet to make a decision on the contractor for the Ston bypass road. It is 32 kilometres long with numerous smaller bridges and tunnels.
Croatian Roads say that the deadline for completing the entire link with southern Croatia is January 31, 2022, and that it is essential for the whole project to be completed by 2023 because the money from EU funds has to be spent by that time.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).
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