July 26, 2023 – It is exactly a year since the opening of the Peljesac Bridge, which connected Dubrovnik and the rest of the south with the rest of Croatia. A look at traffic numbers compared to the Neum Corridor through Bosnia and Hercegovina.
It was one of the proudest moment in recent Croatian history, as a 2.4km bridge, built by the Chinese, connected the mainland to the Peljesac Peninsula, bypassing the Neum Corridor and the need to cross though Bosnia and Hercegovina between Split and Dubrovnik. The two parts of Croatia were finally joined together.
The Peljesac Bridge has been an unqualified success. Not a single accident in the first year, and open even during the fiercest bura wind when ferries occasionally did not sail.
And it has been very popular, not only for those looking to avoid the border crossing between Split and Dubrovnik, but also those taking advantage of shorter drives to Peljesac itself, as well as the islands of Korcula and Mljet.
So what about the Peljesac Bridge traffic in the first year?
It has been more than significant, and traffic through the Neum Corridor is down around 70%. Yesterday, I received the following statistics from the PR department of Hrvatske Ceste (Croatian Roads):
A total of 2,305,537 (two million three hundred and five thousand five hundred and thirty seven) vehicles crossed the Pelješac Bridge by 10 a.m. today. According to data from end of July and August of last year and data for July of this year, an average of 13,880 vehicles a day cross the bridge during summer months. We emphasize that the greatest number of vehicles, namely 19,029 (nineteen thousand twenty nine), crossed the Bridge on Saturday, July 30, 2022.
For comparison, in 2019 – which was a record year in terms of traffic, before the start of the epidemic, the average daily traffic was 11,046 (eleven thousand and forty six) vehicles during the summer months. This was measured near the border crossing with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This year, again, we record the highest traffic load on weekends. For example, on 15th July a total of 15,473 (fifteen thousand four hundred and seventy three) vehicles crossed the Bridge.
The data that we have, related to the traffic through Neum, include data from the border crossing Klek (border crossing in the direction of Dubrovnik) and border crossing Zaton Doli (in the direction of Zagreb). These two measuring spots recorded a decline of about 70% following the opening of the Pelješac Bridge.
In one year, a total of 600.561 (six thousand five hundred and sixty one) vehicles crossed the border crossing Klek, which is an average of 1,645 (one thousand six hundred and forty five) vehicles a day, while during July and August a total of 170.226 (one hundred seventy thousand two hundred and twenty six) vehicles, which is an average of 2.837 (two thousand eight hundred and thirty seven) vehicles a day.
In one year, a total of 627. 769 (six hundred and twenty seven thousand, seven hundred and sixty nine) vehicles crossed the border crossing Zaton Doli, which is an average of 1,720 (one thousand seven hundred and twenty) vehicles a day, while during July and August a total of 155.192 (one hundred fifty five thousand one hundred and ninety two) vehicles, which is an average of 2.587 (two thousand five hundred and eighty seven) vehicles a day.