Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Croatia Bus Split to Zagreb Gets Lost: Takes Four Hour Detour

We’ll never get there! Due to a detour, an early morning Croatia Bus from Split to Zagreb went astray yesterday, and passengers were on the edge of their nerves. “We've gotten lost ten times, and I'm afraid we will end up in the sea!” one outraged passenger reported from the lost vehicle.

“It is 9:40, and we should have arrived at our destination by now, but we are 300 kilometers from Zagreb. Your drivers demonstrate an inadequate, irresponsible and disinterested approach to their jobs. Worst of all, they don't even help each other solve problems. We’ve gotten lost at least ten times so far!” 


Tell us where and who you want to travel with! | Croatia Bus

Angry Croatia Bus Passenger Gave Location Updates

The angry passenger, one of many who was extremely late to his destination, wrote to the management of Croatia Bus. He left yesterday morning at 4:30am on the bus from Split to Zagreb, and as things stood at 9:40am, they would not arrive until 1pm, according to Slobodna Dalmacija on January 20, 2020.

The Croatia Bus drivers were forced to take a detour due to the bura (or bora, which is an extremely high Adriatic coastal wind), which closed the section of the A1 motorway between Posedarje and Sveti Rok for all vehicles except passenger cars. All others, including buses, were diverted to state roads via Gračac, Obrovac and Karin.

Maslenica Bridge Closed 10 Cumulative Months Since 2008

TCN has written about the frequent closures of this section of the A1 motorway due to high winds, which frequently make crossing the Maslenica Bridge unsafe for most, if not all vehicles. This section of motorway, which includes the Maslenica Bridge, has been closed for 10 cumulative months since 2008 due to unsafe winds.

“As Sveti Rok tunnel was closed, we exited the motorway and the drivers veered onto the Adriatic highway towards Karlobag. We almost reached Sveta Marija Magdalena! There, the drivers turned back after they were informed that the road was closed. We've turned around, and what do you think happened next?” wrote the dumbfounded passenger.


Posedarje - Crvka Sveta Marija Magdelena - Skradin - Karin - Gračac | Four Hour Detour Route

After Heading Toward Karlobag, Croatia Bus Goes to Skradin

“To Skradin, yes, you heard right - Skradin just above Šibenik, and 90 kilometers from Split, our departure station. Now we're finally driving to Zagreb, and we're around Karin. There is a lot more I could write, but I'm afraid we’ll get lost again, I don't know which direction we'll head next time, maybe we’ll end up overseas,” seethed the furious passenger.

His story was confirmed to at the traffic office of Croatia Bus later that morning. At that time, they verified that the bus was somewhere around Gračac, which was 250 kilometers away from Zagreb. The Croatia Bus official acknowledged to that the drivers couldn’t find their bearings after being sent off on a detour before Sveti Rok tunnel, so they went the wrong direction (several times).

Croatia Bus was asked if passengers, many of whom certainly had to be in Zagreb yesterday morning due to urgent obligations, would be compensated. Because who else would take a bus at 4:30 in the morning? An employee of Croatia Bus recommended contacting their legal team. 

Follow our Travel page to keep track of lost buses and wind-related road closures. 

Friday, 3 January 2020

Maslenica Bridge on A1 Motorway Closed 10 Cumulative Months Since 2008

According to data collected by Croatian Highways (HAC), the Maslenica Bridge on the A1 Motorway has been closed to traffic for 10 cumulative months since 2008. Residents of Dalmatia had believed for decades that their isolation would cease after the highway connecting them to continental Croatia was completed. They also welcomed the arrival of the Karlovac - Zadar - Split section of the A1 motorway route, including the "New" Maslenica Bridge, which officially opened on June 26, 2005.

But that good fortune only lasted until the first big storm, according to Jurica Gašpar/Morski on December 29, 2019. From then on, depending on wind speeds, the section spanning the Sveti Rok Tunnel to the Maslenica Bridge would regularly close to vehicles of all sizes in order to protect passengers.

Maslenica Bridge Closed to Traffic More Frequently

Nothing has changed since then except for the frequency of the motorway closures. For the last seven years this section has been closing even more frequently. So, 2019 will be remembered as the year it closed 68 times, which is the most it has ever been closed for traffic. By the end of this year, this section of the A1 had not seen traffic for more than 498 cumulative hours, or almost 21 days.

Courtesy of Croatian Highways (HAC), there is detailed bridge closure information from January 2008, the creation of the their database, to December 2019. During this time period, a total 575 traffic closures of the Sveti Rok - Maslenica section have been recorded, with a duration of almost 7126 cumulative hours or 297 days, which amounts to almost 10 months of traffic closures on this most delicate part of the A1 motorway.

Bora Closed Maslenica for 34 Cumulative Days in 2012

Regarding closures due to the Bora (extremely strong wind in Adriatic Coast), 2013 was the most peaceful year because the motorway closed only 29 times for almost 362 hours, or 15 cumulative days. And although the previous record for number of traffic closures the (60 in 2009) was not surpassed in 2012; the record was eclipsed for cumulative hours closed. Traffic was banned on this section spanning Sveti Rok Tunnel and Maslenica Bridge for 813 cumulative hours, or more than one month (almost 34 days).

See the table below for more details:


The Maslenica Bridge (called the "New Maslenica Bridge" to distinguish it from the "old" one, which was bombed during the Homeland War and rebuilt in 2004) has been subject to a great deal of public and media scrutiny because of frequent closures due to the storms.

Hurricane Force Winds Hit Bridge at Aggravating Angle

The highest Bora wind speed at Maslenica Bridge was recorded on December 21, 1998. At that time, wind gusts reached hurricane force levels of 248 km/h. Experts say the problem is that the wind does blow crossways, but at a 10-15 degree angle toward the bridge, which is an aggravating factor.


View of 'New' Maslenica Bridge from 'Old' Maslenica Bridge | Wikimedia Commons

Local Shepherds’ Advice Ignored for ‘New’ Bridge

Senior residents in the area recall that the builders of the "Old" Maslenica steel bridge on the D8 state road had inquired with locals about the best location. Shepherds reportedly responded by pointing out places where animals gathered and evacuated during the strongest winds. The first bridge was built on that site, and that turned out to be a successful choice because the Bora has hardly ever closed this bridge. The same cannot be said for the “new” bridge, of course.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that builders hadn’t taken any wind speed measurements for the area of the planned A1 motorway section spanning Sveti Rok – Maslenica before they began construction on the new bridge. Later measurements showed that this area between Marun and Crnava draga is the windiest – and that’s exactly where the highway was built. The average wind speed there is 32 kilometers per hour.


'Old' and 'New' Maslenica Bridges on Map

Most Expensive Motorway Section in Dalmatia

There is enough material to write a book about the politics, historical circumstances and (not) listening to locals and professionals regarding the planning and construction of this section, so those details will be left out of this text. Just the construction of the Sveti Rok Tunnel alone amounted to 1.5 billon HRK (20.1 million EUR), and billions were involved in building the connecting motorway over viaducts, overpasses and ultimately the Maslenica Bridge, which makes this section by far the most expensive motorway in Dalmatia. Therefore, each closure costs millions.

Suffice to say that Maslenica bridge closure has become more frequent issue and an adequate solution has not been found or implemented. But that's why Dalmatia has the most expensive toll road in Europe.

Follow our Travel page for more information, updates and upgrades on infrastructure in Croatia.

Monday, 11 September 2017

A1 between Posedarje and Maslenica Closed Due to Floods for the First Time in History

The A1 motorway between Posedarje and Maslenica, which is often closed due to heavy wind, was today briefly closed due to severe rainfall and flood - for the first time in history!