After the Chinese company CRBC started working on the new Pelješac bridge in July last year, and after all of the 148 permanent (+ 2 test) pillars have been installed at their sites, in the last couple of days the construction of the bridge has finally surfaced!
Večernji list brings the story and a gallery of photos by Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads), of how it’s possible to see the structure of the bridge above the sea level, as the work on the foundation slabs has started, and those are the first sections of the bridge that will be above water.
It took less than a year to reach that benchmark, and it takes a lot of human and machine power to be able to work that fast. Currently there are more than 20 vessels working on the site, although the biggest one, the Xong Cheng 1 crane, left the bay in May. Currently there are 385 workers on the site, 44 of which are Croats and 341 are Chinese nationals working in Croatia (and recently there have been some problems with their work permits, so the company had to pay a hefty fine).
The foundation slabs connect the pillars that belong to the same group, thus allowing for better stability of the bridge, as well as to protect it against any boats potentially hitting the pillars – as they are at water level and visible. Once they’re completed, the piers of the bridge get attached to the slabs. There’s more work to be done, as Croatian roads reports, on the pillars of the bridge, pouring concrete and finalising the structure at the seabed.
It is expected that Pelješac bridge will be completely finished in two years. And whether it’s going to be fully operational then depends on some other factors, which have almost nothing to do with the bridge itself, rather they almost perfectly tell the tale of Croatia.