ZAGREB, November 15, 2018 – The construction of an 28-kilometre-long section on the eastern branch of the Istrian Y motorway, from Rogovići to the Učka Tunnel, was inaugurated on Thursday, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković attending. The 1.2 billion kuna project envisages the construction of 31 structures, including 11 viaducts. The works on the Istria motorway system are expected to last three years. The first section, Rogovići-Cerovlje, is 12-km-long and should be opened to traffic in two years. The contractor is the Bouygues group.
Plenković said this was a very important project and that its realisation would significantly contribute to the economic development of Istria County and its connection with Croatia’s motorway network. “I believe that we will find a good financing model for the next stages, which pertain to the second tube of the Učka Tunnel and the section from the tunnel to Matulji. The fact that the concession lasts until 2032 is a very good model for Croatia.”
This project “will complete the 23-year partnership between Croatia and Bouygues,” he said, adding that investment in the 2B1 stage would increase GDP by 0.5% during construction.
“The relevant ministry, together with motorway operators Bina-Istra and Hrvatske Autoceste, has the task of continuing to advance the road infrastructure, both in Istria and all of Croatia,” Plenković said, adding that today’s start of construction was a big event for the county and the country.
He said the government had invested a lot in the transport infrastructure in recent years and that it would continue to invest in roads, airports and river transport. Big investments are planned for the rail sector, he added.
Transport Minister Oleg Butković said this was a special day for Istria as in three years it would be connected to the rest of the country by a good road network. “This project is the result of an excellently negotiated concession agreement and it’s important that everything that is built will remain owned by Croatia.”
He said the incumbent government, “unlike others, didn’t want to sell the motorways, which represent a big potential, but launched restructuring, stabilising the road sector’s debt and keeping the motorways.”
The 2B1 stage is an important investment in the economy as 90% of the works will be done by Croatian companies and it will create 1,000 jobs during construction and another ten during maintenance, said Bina-Istra director general Dario Silić. “As part of the concession, Bina-Istra has invested 5.7 billion kuna in the Istrian Y through the 2B1 stage and the sections already built,” he said, adding that the operator would not stop at that as the 2B2 stage envisaged building the second tube of the Učka Tunnel and the section from there to Matulji.
Istria County prefect Valter Flego said the 2B1 construction stage would increase safety on that motorway section, reduce congestion, shorten travel time, improve environmental protection, enhance economic and social cohesion, and bring economic benefits.
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