The Chinese contractor has 36 months to build the bridge.
On Monday, July 30, the construction of Pelješac Bridge will begin. In Ston, representatives of the Croatian Roads public company will meet with representatives from the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and hand over all the necessary documents. They will also sign a statement that the Chinese contractor has officially started the works, reports Jutarnji List on July 26, 2018.
That means that on July 30 the contract deadline for the bridge construction will start to run. The bridge has has to be completed within 36 months. On the same day, the Chinese contractor will have to put up an official panel on the construction site with the basic information about the project.
The works will start three months after the 2.08 billion kuna worth construction contract was signed in Dubrovnik. This will be the second time that the works on the bridge officially begin, with the main difference that 11 years ago the contractor was a Croatian company, while the funds were nowhere to be seen. This time, the European Union will cover the majority of costs. The EU co-finances the project with 357 million euro, or 85 percent of eligible costs. The total value of the South Dalmatia road link project exceeds 526 million euro, of which the eligible costs are slightly higher than 420 million euro.
No major construction works are expected to start immediately. According to available information, the first step will be the demolition of two pillars made during the first “construction attempt.” In parallel, preparations will be made for the arrival of a floating barge at the future location of the bridge, from which additional drilling tests will be carried out at seven spots. The tests will be performed to determine the composition of the sea bottom for the pylons. At the same time, the Chinese engineers will work on a detailed project that should be completed in about six months.
The first visible parts of the bridge will arise from the sea about ten months after the start of the works. In a year and a half, there will be the first pylons, the two pillars and the span construction.
It is still not known which Croatian subcontractors will work on the bridge. The Croatian Roads as an investor cannot in any way force the contractor to use the services of Croatian companies. Although the rumours have been heard for months, there is no specific information about the involvement of local subcontractors. Owners of some companies have said that, given the technology needed for the initial works, they do not expect any major assignments in the first year and a half.
While the public is focused mostly on the bridge itself, the construction of a fast road across the Pelješac peninsula is equally demanding project. Croatian Roads is analysing the seven bids submitted to the public tender for the construction of the first section from Duboke to Šparagović.
Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Krešimir Žabec).