Croatian Motorways Goes Ahead With Zagreb-Sisak Road Completion

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Kresimir Zabec writes on the 2nd of October, 2020, back in June, Croatian Motorways (HAC) announced a preliminary consultation on the open public procurement procedure for the Novi Vinodolski bypass, and the announcement of the tender is still pending. There is also the 11 kilometres of the Zagreb-Sisak road to deal with.

”We’re working on financing the construction of the Novi Vinodolski bypass with funds from the ‘Competitiveness and Cohesion’ EU Fund. If we succeed in that, with the funds we’ve earmarked for this project, we’d start the construction of the last part of the Zagreb-Sisak motorway,” explained the President of Croatian Motorways, Boris Huzjan.

Non-refundable funds

The estimated value of the works stands at 495 million kuna. It is a 9.8 kilometre long bypass, of which 6.5 kilometres runs along the route of the future A7 motorway, and the remaining 3.3 kilometres refers to the connecting roads to the Adriatic Highway (D8). Part of the bypass, more precisely the Selce-Novi Vinodolski section, is an integral part of the future A7 Rupa-Rijeka-Zuta Lokva motorway and its position coincides with the left carriageway of this motorway.

The Zagreb-Sisak motorway was completed to Lekenik and an addition 11 kilometres to Sisak needs to be constructed. HAC obtained all the necessary project documentation as well as a building permit. The proposal of existing installations on the route is in progress and activities on land acquisition have begun. The estimated value of the construction of these 11 kilometres of motorway stands at 291 million kuna, and the planned construction period is two years.

If this were to happen, HAC would, for the first time in its history, be able to obtain an EU grant for some of its projects. Namely, the EU doesn’t co-finance road projects that will be paid later. Since the Novi Vinodolski bypass will be in the profile of a semi-motorway and no toll collection is foreseen for it, the project can be nominated for co-financing from EU funds.

Recovery fund

As has since been learned unofficially, the representatives of the Ministry of Transport are intensively negotiating with the European Commission to transfer several large infrastructure projects financed from the budget of Croatian Roads and Croatian Motorways to co-financing from EU funds. The plan is to “transfer” some of the projects already nominated for funding from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Fund to the newly launched EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, which would open the possibility of co-financing some new projects from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Fund.

Until now, HAC and HC projects could not be nominated for co-financing from that fund for the period from 2014 to 2020 because there were no more funds for transport projects in it.

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