Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Construction of A5 Motorway Within European Corridor Vc Continues

ZAGREB, April 28, 2020 - A HRK 443 million agreement for the construction of the A5 motorway subsection "Beli Manastir - Halašica Bridge" within the pan-European Vc transport corridor was signed on Tuesday in east Croatia.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who attended the contract-signing ceremony at the Drava Bridge at Petrijevci, underlined that the strategic importance of the construction of the full-profile 17.5 -kilometre-long section of the motorway.

Plenković expressed his satisfaction because the financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) had been secured for the project.

The project is expected to be implemented over the next two years.

He thanked Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić who had been persistent in highlighting the importance of the project for his county. Furthermore, the route will connect Croatia with Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"I think that investment will contribute to Slavonia's economic growth. It fits in with this government's intention through the Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem project to extend a hand of development to Slavonia and to take a step that will enable Slavonia to develop equally as fast as other area of Croatia," Plenković said.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković assessed that it was good that works on the Vc corridor were advancing even during the crisis caused by the coronavirus.

That shows, Butković underscored, that the government has not backed down from large infrastructure projects including the continuation of works on Peljesac Bridge, the Istria Y motorway, the Vc corridor but also large railway projects with a total value of HRK 20 billion.

Butković assessed that today's agreement is a step toward Croatia's aim of building its section of the Vc corridor as soon as possible which extended for 702 kilometres from the Hungarian capital of Budapest to the southern Croatian seaport of Ploče. According to Butković, the construction of the pan-European motorway through Croatia, will be completed by the end of 2023.

Butković rejected the idea that the continuation of construction of the corridor was part of an election campaign, saying that the project had been prepared for some time and that it was necessary to obtain all the relevant permits and financial construction.

The CEO of the Croatian motorways operator HAC, Boris Huzjan announced that the project of constructing the final five kilometres of the motorway from Beli Manastir to the Hungarian border is being prepared.

He informed that the Svilaj Bridge across the Sava River connecting Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina has been completed thus completing the 85 kilometres of full profile motorway between the eastern Croatian city of Beli Manastir and the Bosnian border.

More transport news can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Revenue from Road Tolls Exceeds 3 Billion Kuna for First Time in History

ZAGREB, January 2, 2020 - In 2019 revenue from road tolls on motorways operated by the Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) and Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb (ARZ) companies amounted to more than 3 billion kuna, which is the most ever, and that it was collected from 61.56 million vehicles, HAC said on Thursday.

According to the first data for 2019, a total of 61,565,203 vehicles was recorded on all motorways operated by HAC and ARZ, bringing in a revenue of 3.004 billion kuna in road tolls. This is the first time in history that revenue from road tolls exceeded 3 billion kuna, HAC said.

HAC underscored that compared to 2018 revenue from road tolls increased by 4.3% in 2019 and there were 5% more vehicles.

HAC pointed out that the highest revenue from road tolls was generated on the A3 motorway (Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac), amounting to 992 million kuna.

The most significant revenue by month was generated in August (475 million).

More than 60% of tolls collected in 2019 were cashless, paid by ENC passes or various credit cards.

HAC noted that there was an increase in traffic on motorways in the off-season too in 2019 compared to 2018.

More news about Croatians roads can be found in the Travel section.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Introducing 3D Signalling for Driving in Wrong Direction on Croatian Motorways

The Croatian Motorways public company (HAC) has begun the implementation of a pilot project to install horizontal signalling with 3D effect at ten junctions and five rest stops that will alert drivers who are driving in the wrong direction, reports Večernji List on May 3, 2019.

The HAC says they receive about 200 reports a year of driving in the wrong direction on the motorways, but not all reports are confirmed. Some drivers realize their mistake on time and then return to the right direction before the police arrive. However, about 70 per cent of the reports are confirmed, but most end with no serious consequences or traffic accidents. Still, since 2007, 38 accidents occurred on the HAC motorways due to driving in the wrong direction and 11 people were killed, while 47 were injured.


The HAC says that vehicles moving in the opposite direction on motorways represent a serious threat to the safety of all traffic participants. Such driving often ends with a frontal crash and, although the number of such violations is not large, the consequences are often severe injuries and deaths. The mistake most commonly occurs at junctions and rest stops due to drivers being tired, people driving under the influence, a fall in concentration, people not noticing traffic signals or, in the worst case, due to the self-destructive behaviour of some drivers.

The HAC says that the existing traffic signalling preventing the entry of vehicles in the wrong direction is not enough and needs to be supplemented. Horizontal 3D traffic signalization would thus, together with the existing vertical signalisation, act as a physical obstacle, further alerting drivers that they are driving in the wrong direction.

The HAC states that such a way of preventing vehicle entry in the opposite direction is unique in Europe and is used as a pilot-project only in Austria. The horizontal 3D traffic signalling consists of two sections. The first part is made up of several smaller elements, usually three, that create a 3D effect of spikes, while the second part consists of a 3D effect of an elevated surface.

The HAC has prepared an analytical report on 3D traffic signalling and has received consent from the Ministry of the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure. They have developed the tender documentation and are now launching a public procurement process for the project implementation. The estimated value of the works is one million kuna. For the pilot project, the junctions and rest stops with most incidents involving driving in the wrong direction have been selected.

At each junction, the signalling will be placed at two spots where it is possible to enter the motorway in the wrong direction, while at the rest stops it will be placed at a single location.

The HAC expects that the implementation of the project will start after the tourist season when they complete the public procurement procedure and conclude the contract with the winning bidder. They will then track and analyse the data for a year to see if the project was successful. The HAC expects that the number of incidents with driving in the wrong direction will be reduced.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).

More news about Croatian motorways can be found in the Travel section.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Some Croatian Motorways Tolling Stations Switching to ENC Only Regime

From Friday, paying the tolls for cars leaving the motorway system at the Vučevica toll station during the night will be possible exclusively with the electronic toll collection (ENC) system. This is part of a pilot project for a new regime of toll collection at smaller and low-frequency toll stations, announced the Croatian Motorways (HAC) public company on Wednesday, reports Jutarnji List on January 30, 2019.

According to the announcement, the ENC ONLY exit system will be operational only overnight, from 10 pm to 6 am, and the Vučevica toll station is the first to enter the new regime. The purpose of the ENC ONLY system is to reduce operating costs while maintaining the existing standard for toll stations. It also aims to encourage the use of ENC devices and remind users that ENC brings them a significant toll discount of at least 21.74 per cent.

“The implementation of the ENC ONLY system at several low-frequency stations is planned as a transitional solution towards the introduction of a new toll collection system based on electronic, contactless charging,” announced by the HAC.

The company explained that the Vučevica toll station had been included in the pilot project because during the year the night shift averages just ten vehicles, of which four use ENC already. The HAC also points out that the permanent users who use the Vučevica exit during night shift have been informed about the new regime with leaflets and new signs on the motorway. There is also the free info phone number 0800 0422, which provides support to drivers, as well as the ability to remotely lift the ramps in case of emergencies.

Earlier this year, the HAC announced that one of its primary goals this year is to select the new toll collection system. During 2018, the Spanish company IDOM S.A.U., as the selected consultant, worked intensively on a detailed analysis of possible technological solutions for the system. In the first quarter of 2019, we should know which toll system will be implemented. That will be followed by the preparation of the tender documentation for the procurement of the selected method, and implementation of the new permanent system should start in 2021.

Translated from Jutarnji List.

More news about Croatian motorways can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 14 January 2019

From 2022, No More Toll Payment Queues on Croatian Motorways

Starting from 2022, the tolls on motorways managed by Croatian Motorways (HAC) and the Rijeka-Zagreb Motorway (ARZ) companies will be charged by the DSRC system (Dedicated Short-Range Communications) or via the Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) system. The new toll collection system has been recommended by Spanish consultants from IDOM Consulting, who won the tender announced by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure to develop the new toll collection system, reports Večernji List on January 14, 2019.

The consultants have suggested the so-called “free flow” toll collection system with multiple lanes. The system will be contactless and non-cash. The DSRC system means that vehicles must have a device or transponder installed through which the mileage would be monitored and the toll calculated. This system is similar to the existing ENC, but DSRC works without vehicles having to slow down. The consultants’ plan is for the DSRC system to be required in commercial vehicles, while it would be optional for passenger vehicles, which would also be able to opt for ALPR. However, the new toll system will primarily be based on DSRC, while the Croatian authorities still have to decide whether ALPR is even needed.

The transponders will be purchased or rented, and their price is about 10 euro each. It is anticipated that the sales points for these transponders will be located at all border crossings, at seaports, on strategic locations on motorways, and in major Croatian cities. Also, the devices will also be distributed through shops, gas stations and mail.

The Croatian DSRC system will be compatible with similar systems in other countries, so for example, Italian drivers, who have been using this system for years, will be able to use their transponders to pay for tolls in Croatia. The transponder will sound a signal warning the driver about the transaction, and will also have a built-in sensor that will detect whether it has been removed from the holder. It is expected that the transponder battery will last for more than six years.

DSRC users will be able to sign for the so-called "prepaid contracts,” while those who wish to pay tolls after driving will have to register, i.e. they will have to provide information about their credit cards or bank accounts.

In the first year of implementation of the new system, it is expected that 60 per cent of transactions will be made through DSRC. Over time, more and more drivers will use the transponders. According to experience from other EU countries, the maximum average use of transponders in transactions is about 80 per cent. In Portugal, for example, 78 per cent of transactions are done with transponders. Hungary has reached the share of 83 per cent in 2017, and it started with 24.5 per cent in 2013.

The future system will be installed at the locations of current toll stations. These sites will also include control points. The toll collection sites and control points will have portals above the motorways with DSRC antennas and cameras that will automatically detect and classify vehicles. Also, toll collection controls will be performed by mobile units, vehicles equipped with DSRC antennas, each of which will cover 80 kilometres of highway.

According to unofficial estimates, the introduction of the new system would cost about 500 million kuna, and the annual maintenance costs would amount to approximately 60 million kuna. The start of the introduction of the new toll collection system is expected in January 2021. For the first year, the new system will coexist with the existing system, which means that the next to the toll booths there will be the so-called “free flow” lanes.

More news on the Croatian motorways can be found in our Travel section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).

Friday, 4 January 2019

Croatian Motorways Toll Revenue Grew 6% in 2018

More than 58.5 million vehicles used the Croatian motorways managed by the Croatian Motorways (HAC) and Rijeka-Zagreb Motorway (ARZ) companies in 2018, which is 5 percent more than in 2017, while tolls have been charged in the amount of more than 2.87 billion kuna without VAT, which is 6 percent more, reports Večernji List on January 4, 2019.

The increase in the number of vehicles by 5 percent compared to 2017 means that the motorways under the jurisdiction of the HAC and ARZ saw almost 3 million more vehicles, while the 6 percent increase in revenue from the tolls brought in 160 million kuna more.

The HAC also reveals that the provisional data show that the highest toll income in 2018 was realized on the A3 motorway (Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac), about 946.9 million kuna without VAT, while the highest revenue by month was recorded in August, in the amount of 450.7 million kuna excluding VAT.

"According to currently available data for 2018, we note an increase in traffic and toll revenue on all highways, which means that HAC achieved planned results in terms of revenue and traffic growth for 2018," the company said.

The total HAC revenues for the first 11 months of 2018 amounted to 2.07 billion kuna, while expenditures amounted to 1.64 billion kuna. As noted, this continued a trend of revenue growth and reduction of expenditures, with the expectation that positive trends will continue in 2019.

Among the 2019 business goals, one of the most important is the selection of a new toll collection system. In 2018, the Spanish company IDOM S.A.U., as a selected consultant, worked intensively on detailed analysis of possible technological solutions. “In the first quarter of 2019, we will know which toll system will be implemented. In the middle of the year, we plan to start preparing tender documentation for the procurement of the selected system, and the implementation of the system should start in 2021," the HAC said.

For 2019, they announce the continuation of the modernization and the operational restructuring with the aim of further reducing operating costs, as well as the continuation of the investments, with a focus on the completion of the 5c transport corridor project and a bridge over the Sava river.

More news on the Croatian motorways can be found in our Travel section.

Translated from Večernji List.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Croatian Motorways: Average Speed to Be Monitored for Speeding Fines

There is probably no-one who has not heard a story from someone that he or she managed to drive from Zagreb to Split in less than three hours. The story is always the same, just the name of the driver is changed. While it is clear that in most cases this is just fiction with no basis in reality, there are indeed some who do manage to drive from Zagreb to Split in under three hours. Most of them use foreign passports as a shield, readily paying fines, which then motivates locals to try to do the same. However, it seems that such behaviour will soon become history on the Croatian motorways, reports Večernji List on December 18, 2018.

A unique speeding monitoring system is about to be introduced. “Speed monitoring is a developing project with a view to increasing the safety of motorway traffic and preventing the worst traffic accidents, all in line with the 2011-2020 National Traffic Safety Programme. Croatian Motorways support the activities and measures of the Interior Ministry to increase traffic safety. Speed monitoring will be done by measuring the average speed of a vehicle on certain sections of the motorway and with radar controls at specific locations, such as areas under reconstruction, where speeding is the most common cause of traffic accidents,” explained the Croatian Motorways public company. They noted that the locations under the speed monitoring would be marked with road signs to warn drivers because the intention is not to fine but to warn.

Currently, speeding on Croatian motorways is controlled just by police interceptors. Drivers exceeding the allowed speed by more than 50 km/h receive a fine between 3,000 and 7,000 kuna, a 24-month driving ban and three negative points on their licence. However, when it comes to foreign drivers, there are no penalty points, the driving ban applies just to Croatia, and the fee of 3,000 kuna – which in reality is only 1,500 kuna, provided it is paid immediately – is nothing substantial.

“When fees start being imposed through video surveillance, and the most severe offenders are punished by imprisonment, Croatian motorways will no longer serve as recreational venues but will be safe modern highways where local and foreign drivers will be able to drive safely at allowed speeds without fear of potentially taking part in serious accidents caused by arrogant drivers,” said Goran Husinec, a court expert for road traffic and vehicles.

The implementation of the motorway speed monitoring system is planned for 2019 and 2020. Similar speed control systems on motorways have already been introduced by Norway, the Netherlands, Austria and Italy. To avoid manipulation – such as taking a coffee break that would bring down the average speed calculated by comparing the time of entry and exit from the motorway – the speeds will be measured at multiple locations, mostly those that are already known as sections with speeding violations.

At each section, the speed monitoring system will be installed at two points. Cameras will record vehicles and calculate their speed. Based on the resulting average, the drivers will receive fines at their home addresses or will be fined by the police at the motorway exit.

“We were thinking about increasing the permitted speed on some flat sections of the motorways, but the state of our society and traffic culture is such that it still does not allow it. There would be drivers who would overestimate their driving capabilities, which would be fatal for them and other traffic participants,” concluded Husinec.

More info on Croatian motorways can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Sandra Mikulčić).

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Istria Motorway System to Be Expanded

ZAGREB, November 15, 2018 - The construction of an 28-kilometre-long section on the eastern branch of the Istrian Y motorway, from Rogovići to the Učka Tunnel, was inaugurated on Thursday, with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković attending. The 1.2 billion kuna project envisages the construction of 31 structures, including 11 viaducts. The works on the Istria motorway system are expected to last three years. The first section, Rogovići-Cerovlje, is 12-km-long and should be opened to traffic in two years. The contractor is the Bouygues group.

Plenković said this was a very important project and that its realisation would significantly contribute to the economic development of Istria County and its connection with Croatia's motorway network. "I believe that we will find a good financing model for the next stages, which pertain to the second tube of the Učka Tunnel and the section from the tunnel to Matulji. The fact that the concession lasts until 2032 is a very good model for Croatia."

This project "will complete the 23-year partnership between Croatia and Bouygues," he said, adding that investment in the 2B1 stage would increase GDP by 0.5% during construction.

"The relevant ministry, together with motorway operators Bina-Istra and Hrvatske Autoceste, has the task of continuing to advance the road infrastructure, both in Istria and all of Croatia," Plenković said, adding that today's start of construction was a big event for the county and the country.

He said the government had invested a lot in the transport infrastructure in recent years and that it would continue to invest in roads, airports and river transport. Big investments are planned for the rail sector, he added.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković said this was a special day for Istria as in three years it would be connected to the rest of the country by a good road network. "This project is the result of an excellently negotiated concession agreement and it's important that everything that is built will remain owned by Croatia."

He said the incumbent government, "unlike others, didn't want to sell the motorways, which represent a big potential, but launched restructuring, stabilising the road sector's debt and keeping the motorways."

The 2B1 stage is an important investment in the economy as 90% of the works will be done by Croatian companies and it will create 1,000 jobs during construction and another ten during maintenance, said Bina-Istra director general Dario Silić. "As part of the concession, Bina-Istra has invested 5.7 billion kuna in the Istrian Y through the 2B1 stage and the sections already built," he said, adding that the operator would not stop at that as the 2B2 stage envisaged building the second tube of the Učka Tunnel and the section from there to Matulji.

Istria County prefect Valter Flego said the 2B1 construction stage would increase safety on that motorway section, reduce congestion, shorten travel time, improve environmental protection, enhance economic and social cohesion, and bring economic benefits.

For more on Istria, click here.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Croatian Motorways Bring in Record Revenues

ZAGREB, September 18, 2018 - Croatia's motorway operators – HAC and ARZ – have collected 2.2 billion kuna in road tolls year-to-date, which is 6% more compared to the corresponding period in 2017, and by the end of the year a total of 2.8 billion kuna is expected to be collected from tolls, HAC informed on Tuesday.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

“Istrian Y” Highway to Become Full-Profile Motorway

Istria is one of few parts of Croatia without a real motorway. That is about to change.

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