An historic milestone in the timeline of Croatia’s signature infrastructure project, the Peljesac Bridge, will be marked between 12:00 and 13:00 today as the one-millionth vehicle will cross the Chinese-built bridge since its official opening on July 26 in a ceremony that reflected on the pride Croats felt at finally having their country connected. Prior to the bridge, road travellers had to pass through the so-called Neum Corridor in Bosnia and Hercegovina, which often led to significant delays at the border, especially in the peak tourist season.
No longer. The bridge, funded largely by EU funds and built by the Chinese, has been a popular addition since its opening, not just for those wanting to go from Split to Dubrovnik without leaving the country, but also for its better access to the Peljesac Peninsula and the island of Korcula. As previously reported on TCN, a trip from Korcula Town to Split can now be done in under 3 hours. Read more in Korcula to Split via Peljesac Bridge: A Heavenly, Speedy Road Trip.
A few weeks ago we did a story on how the traffic flow had changed since the opening, using data supplied by Croatian Roads. In the first 100 days, some 940,046 vehicles had crossed the bridge, an average of almost 10,000 a day, while traffic through Neum for the corresponding period in 2019 was down by a whopping 70%. That average of 10,000 a day is obviously much higher in the summer months, and the reduced traffic will have had a considerable effect on the Neum economy, while at the same time improving the Neum tourism experience.
I asked Croatian Roads to inform me when the millionth vehicle would cross, and this morning, they informed me that the milestone was expected between 12:00 and 13:00.
You can take a tour over the bridge as I did on the morning before it officially opened in the video above.
For more on the Peljesac Bridge, check out the dedicated TCN section.