Sava Boats: New Project to Explore Zagreb River’s Tourism Potential

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, throughout history, there have been many ideas on how to connect Zagreb and the Sava and how to make the Sava something more than just a river that divides the city. Until now, nothing has really succeeded, and only the embankment, which was created out of the need to protect the city from floods, has come to be.

However, after raising the standard along the coast with some new piers, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure is now preparing something for the capital as well. It has launched the project for the Promotion of Green Navigation on the Sava river in the City of Zagreb, for which the study and project documentation will be created in the first step by the IGH Institute, which was selected in a public tender announced back at the beginning of the year.

The very name of the project is associated with “Zagreb on the Sava/Zagreb na Savi” and the European 13 competition, a project that was relevant a few years ago, when the late Milan Bandic was in charge of Zagreb. However, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure has duly pointed out that this project isn’t related to that megaproject.

This idea, which involves Sava boats, is a completely different project, and it is their independent project, that is, the City of Zagreb is not included in it at this stage. From the ministry with Oleg Butkovic at the helm, they noted that the involvement of the City of Zagreb is planned during the construction phase, that is, the arrangement of all of the access infrastructure.

In short, the project for which IGH will prepare the project documentation for the ministry envisages the creation of technical conditions for arranging the waterway and enabling the depth that would make the Sava safe for boat navigation. In the tender documentation, the ministry starts from the fact that in the area of ​​the City of Zagreb, the Sava river has very limited possibilities for navigation, and that due to the uneven water regime, it can actually be used mainly only for tourist purposes.

There is no serious navigation on the Sava in Zagreb, and the ministry recognises the possibility of improving the attractiveness of the tourist offer by improving the navigability by introducing, as they say, the water dimension of sightseeing in the city with Sava boats. The ministry also explained that their goal is to create a plan for future works aimed at regulating the Sava river bed in that area in a better way, as well as their intention to create a concept for all of the accompanying infrastructure facilities for Sava boats and a pier project.

In contrast to all previous ideas relating to Zagreb’s dividing river, which included connecting and arranging the Sava from the border with Slovenia to Sisak, the current project covers only the area from the Bridge of Youth (Most mladosti) to the area near the Arena at Laniste. In this area, it would be quite possible to install five piers, in locations that would coincide with the most important points of urban transport, and which, according to the ministry, lack traffic connections as well as entertainment and recreational facilities.

Those five locations are Jarun-east, where the eastern part of the Jarun lake towards Laniste would be connected by a ferry crossing, and, until the Jarun bridge is built, the ferry crossing would also be located at another location on the right, connecting Laniste to Jarun. The third location is the Hendrix Bridge, where the navigation unit would be placed on the left side of the bank and would be a connection to both tram and bus transport at the Savski Most interchange, while the fourth location would be Liberty bridge (Most slobode) on the right side of the bank and would connect Bundek, and the last, of all, involving the Bridge of Youth again, would connect the settlements of Savica and Borovje.

Traffic on the Sava using Sava boats would take place in two directions, and two ships could dock at the pier at the same time. In accordance with the EU’s green agenda, the wharves would have energy connections and power generation from RES, and, as can be seen from the documentation, they would be built so that they would self-adjust to the water levels on the unstable Sava bed.

As far as the dimensions are concerned, the starting point is a bed depth of 5 metres and a bed width of 80 metres, a pier draft of 1 metre, with the length of the access bridge being 25 meters. The deadline by which IGH needs to create a technical solution for the activation of the ambitious project is 36 months from the conclusion of the contract, which is worth 1.1 million kuna in total.

Then it will be clearer how much the realisation of that project would cost and how it would be financed.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.


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