Sunday, 19 September 2021

Destiny of Much Loved Motel Plitvice Lies in Croatian Motorways' Hands

September the 19th, 2021 - Motel Plitvice has been a favourite among locals and tourists using Croatia's motorways for very many years now, but now its fate lies in Croatian Motorways' (HAC) hands.

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes, the fate of Motel Plitvice, a favourite place to stop for many road users along the Zagreb - Bregana highway, is in the hands of Croatian Motorways after the Zagreb Commercial Court recently determined the debt of the motel, which requested pre-bankruptcy back in the spring.

Out of the total court-determined debt of Motel Plitvice of 39.6 million kuna, HAC's claim accounts for 33.4 million kuna of it, meaning that the motel cannot proceed from pre-bankruptcy without the consent of HAC, if the creditors vote that way.

The management of Motel Plitvice initially requested the opening of pre-bankruptcy procedings due to the consequences of the coronavirus crisis on business and its goal is to arrange the repayment of the incurred debt of 17 million kuna so that the motel can operate.

In the proposal of the pre-bankruptcy plan, the management of Motel Plitvice also stated a debt to HAC of 11.9 million kuna, but the court determined that it was in actual fact three times higher than that. This is part of a long-standing dispute between Motel Plitvice and HAC over the use of land on which the motel, with some other facilities, operates on both sides of the busy motorway.

The two parties never entered into a land use agreement, although, as established in a court case initiated by HAC back in 2001, they were supposed to do so.

As there was no contract to fall back on, Motel Plitvice disputed HAC's request that it remain indebted for the use of the land only from 2001 to 2009, in the amount of 12 million kuna. Over time, the motel's debt to HAC, according to the calculation of state highways, increased to a massive 78.1 million kuna. Ultimately, HAC won the dispute in the Commercial and High Commercial Courts, and Motel Plitvice failed even with an appeal in the Supreme Court.

HAC recently revealed that converting the receivables they have from Motel Plitvice into ownership of the motel is not an option they have on the table because, as they point out, the Roads Act doesn't allow them to proceed with such a model.

''The position of HAC on the pre-bankruptcy of Motel Plitvice depends on the final settlement proposal and the measures that will eventually be proposed by the revised restructuring plan,'' they stated quite simply from HAC.

For more, follow our business section.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Croatian Road Toll Fees High Over Weekend, Close to Same Weekend of 2019

August the 14th, 2021 - Croatian road toll fees are experiencing excellent numbers so far this summer, with this past weekend being far beyond anyone's expectations from just a few months ago. Numbers like those we saw and took entirely for granted back in pre-pandemic record year of 2019 which seemed unattainable this time last year are becoming more and more of a reality.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, Croatian Motorways is feeling the results of a truly excellent Croatian good tourist season so far in their business, which also recorded excellent results last weekend. From the 20th to the 22nd of August, 856.5 thousand vehicles passed at their toll booths and a massive 47.1 million kuna without VAT was collected in Croatian road toll fees.

When compared to the same weekend last year, when the turnover of 591.6 thousand vehicles and revenue of 31.5 million kuna in Croatian road toll fees was recorded, this figure marks a promising increase of 45 and 50 percent, respectively, and according to official HAC data, compared to the same weekend in In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, in which record results were also achieved, the number of vehicles this weekend was higher, but revenues were still slightly lower.

That weekend, two years ago, HAC recorded a turnover of 837.6 thousand cars and other vehicles, which means that last weekend the traffic was higher by 2 percent, and the state highways had a traffic of almost 19 thousand more vehicles.

However, Croatian road toll fees collected back then stood at about one percent higher, and on the same weekend in August in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, revenues amounted to 47.7 million kuna without VAT included.

The fact that with a larger number of vehicles there was no equal increase in revenue from freight, and it is slightly weaker, is partly a result of the fact that before the tourist season, as a government measure to attract tourists to come to Croatia, the so-called winter tariff, which is somewhat cheaper, remained in place for longer.

For more, follow our travel section.

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

New Croatian Motorways App Will be Useful to Drivers in Many Ways

August the 10th, 2021 - The brand new Croatian Motorways app will more than likely become a drivers' best friend when travelling up and down the country. A tender is soon set to be announced.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, warnings when exceeding the speed limit, traffic announcements and displays of detours are just some of the possibilities that will be provided to all drivers by the new Croatian Motorways app, for which a public tender will soon be announced, reports Vecernji list.

This new Croatian Motorways app will provide drivers with access to information on the current state of traffic and meteorological conditions on sections under the jurisdiction of all motorway concessionaires in the Republic of Croatia, meaning along Croatian Motorways (HAC) roads, and it also includes the Istrian Y and the Zagreb-Macelj motorway.

As stated in the terms of reference which are part of the tender documentation, the Croatian Motorways app interface should be easy to use and provide the app's user with information on the state of traffic on their planned motorway route, which includes notifications of extraordinary events, works on the road and connected state roads, the situation at border crossings, there's also access to traffic cameras, as well as a report on travel times.

Users of the Croatian Motorways app, which will be free to download, will also receive notifications about the current speed limit on the section they're using, current weather conditions, rest areas and their available facilities, where there are toll fees to be paid, there will be contacts for police, firefighters and ambulances. Users will also be able to use the app to report incidents themselves.

The Croatian Motorways app will help drivers out during their journey by showing them detours in case a particular motorway section is closed to all or certain groups of vehicles due to an extraordinary or previously announced event, and they will be able to see the current location of their vehicle on the map in the app.

The app will also gradually introduce the receipt of information on the traffic situation from the surrounding countries - Slovenia, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary - and in case of emergencies in these countries, it will activate traffic management plans (TMP - Traffic Management Plans), in order for the users of the application who plan to travel to those countries to have real-time information about the events on the motorways of those countries.

In addition to the Croatian Motorways app, this project will upgrade HAC's public website with a new interactive map, which includes map view, map layer selection, a text overview of active emergency notifications and works, a text view of the current weather conditions and passability, routing, traffic forecasting, filtering, and data sorting.

According to the app's documentation, in accordance with HAC's interest in improving the information they provide as a public company that manages most of the Croatian motorway network, upgrading and developing the proposed app will represent a significant step forward in improving public information.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Banovina Motorway Delayed Again Due to Public Tender Appeals

June the 23rd, 2021 - The Banovina motorway, often referred to as the Banovina ''rescue'' motorway has seen progress delayed once again following appeals launched.

As Novac/Vedran Marjanovic writes, Croatian Motorways has just announced the receipt of an appeal against the public procurement tender for the selection of a contractor for the construction of a 300 million kuna section of the Zagreb-Sisak motorway, known as the Banovina motorway.

''The appeal filed against the change of procurement documentation prevents the continuation of public procurement,'' HAC said on the occasion of a new appeal being launched against the tender for the completion of the Zagreb-Sisak highway, more specifically for the section of the A11 highway from Lekenik to Sisak.

It should be noted that after HAC invited interested companies to submit their bids for the construction of the Lekenik-Sisak section on March the 8th this year, the Bulgarian company Trace Group Hold complained to the State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement Procedures (DKOM) on May the 27th.

However, DKOM rejected the appeal of the aforementioned Bulgarian company because, according to the explanation of the Commission, no proof of payment of the appeal fee was provided. This, however, only temporarily blocked the public tender for A11 because a new appeal was lodged.

According to HAC's original plan for the completion of the so-called Banovina motorway, the opening of the bids received for the tender was scheduled for May the 27th, which was postponed until further notice by Trace Group Hold's appeal. Therefore, the announcement of the Croatian Government that the construction of the Lekenik-Sisak section could start in autumn this year must be dropped.

According to the tender documentation, the company that will be entrusted with the construction of the Banovina motorway or ''rescue'' motorway is expected to complete the work within two years from the start of construction.

The state began building the 47.5-kilometre Zagreb-Sisak highway back in 2006 and cut it off in May 2009, completing the section from Mraclin to Busevac. Construction continued a few years later, and in 2015 the 11.2-kilometre-long Buševec-Lekenik section was completed, with almost all activities being halted for many years. The construction of the A11 was intensified after the earthquake that hit Sisak and Banovina back in December last year and was declared the ''rescue highway'' for the area.

For more, follow our business section.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

No Seasonal Rise in Toll Prices at HAC-operated Motorways This Summer Too

ZAGREB, 10 June 2021 - Croatia's government on Thursday decided not to increase motorway toll fares this summer after it did not apply the seasonal increase also in the summer of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lower motorway toll prices will remain in force in a bid to contribute to efforts to boost the business activity in the tourism and transport sectors.

Thus, the state-run motorway operator HAC has been authorized not to apply the summer price list between 15 June and 14 September when motorway toll fares are 10% higher than out of the season. 

The financial effect of this measure is estimated at HRK 77.5 million, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said.SFor the latest news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Croatian Motorways Ready for Tourism Season with Even More Amenities

June 1, 2021 – Investments in the yearly maintenance of Croatian motorways are sizeable, but justified when compared to the revenue generated, particularly during the summer season.

Croatian motorways are a crucial part of Croatia’s tourism infrastructure. They are also a very important factor in connecting various regions of the country. The topography of Croatia often makes local roads inefficient. Year after year majority of guests coming to Croatia with cars have very positive comments on the motorway system. However, the entire thing doesn’t come cheap.

With the constant need for maintenance and updating, Hrvatske Autoceste (Croatian Motorways Ltd - HAC) is hard at work every year to prepare the infrastructure for the summer season. The surge of cars on Croatian roads will once again happen in a year, starting in June. Index.hr reports Croatian Motorways Ltd invested 404.9 million kn (around 54 million EUR) into this year’s maintenance and upgrading of the motorway system. Much of this money has been invested in rest stops along the motorways. This is one part of the investment travellers to Croatia will immediately feel. Upgrades made in rest stops are mostly in interiors, bathrooms, and operational technology. HAC also notes the emergency services are going to be reinforced.

New and Updated Services

Along with the standard 24/7 road assistance patrolling the motorways, additional contractors will provide more complex roadside and system maintenance services. Teams of emergency medical services and over thirty vehicles with automatic defibrillators will be on hand as well. Much like the majority of other businesses, HAC expects higher revenues in 2021 than the previous year. In 2020 the numbers were very low due to COVID19 pandemic restrictions. Because of this, HAC started this year with around a hundred employees less than 2020. Estimated revenue from motorway tolls in Croatia this year is 2,18 billion kn (around 290 million EUR).

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 19 March 2021

1129 Brand New Traffic Cameras Coming to Croatian Motorways

March the 19th, 2021 - Over one thousand brand new traffic cameras are due to grace Croatian motorways, adding an additional deterrent to those considering speeding or reckless driving.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, driving in the wrong direction, pedestrians or a stopped vehicle on the road are just some of the traffic hazards about which the state-of-the-art automatic incident detection system (AID) procured by Croatian Motorways will alert HAC employees working in traffic control centres in just a few seconds, according to a report from Vecernji list.

Subsequently, additional cameras will be installed for this purpose on Croatian motorways, more specifically on the sections of the Rijeka - Zagreb and Rijeka - Rupa motorways, given that the company ARZ has been merged with HAC.

The total value of this procurement is estimated to stand at approximately 55 million kuna. The AID system detects when an incident happens and generates an alarm just a few seconds after the incident occurs, allowing the operator to do what is needed to prevent a secondary incident.

The AID triggers an audible alarm in the event, automatically displays the scene of the incident on the road to the operator and records everything happening, and the cameras also cover a minimum of three traffic lanes and one stop lane.

In addition to the incidents already mentioned, AID warns of traffic congestion, slow vehicles and any loss of normal levels of visibility. An alarm sounds in the tunnel when the loss of visibility of the cameras is detected by the appearance of smoke due to a fire having broken out somewhere nearby.

The system set to be placed along Croatian motorways can also collect data on vehicle classification, average speed, travel time, vehicle distance and more. The new traffic cameras will have a motorised varifocal lens, an IR reflector, and will have the ability to minimum 25 frames per second.

HAC has a Central Centre for the Supervision and Management of Motorway Traffic connects all regional Croatian motorway traffic control and management centres (RCNUPAC).

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Monday, 25 January 2021

Falling Snow Causes Treacherous Conditions on Croatian Roads

January 25, 2021 – Released images show falling snow is causing extremely difficult conditions on some Croatian roads, both motorways and state roads, with the mountainous regions of Lika and Gorski Kotar most affected

Any optimists living in Zagreb could be forgiven for thinking winter was over. Over a succession of two days last week they were basking in the relatively balmy daytime temperatures of 16 degrees. The sun shone brightly, the boots stayed indoors and lighter jackets were thrown on to visit the shops. Not everyone in Zagreb is an optimist, though. And those with an experience that is greater than their hope knew the reality of the situation; Croatia's winter can turn round at any moment to bite you in the ass.

croatia-4082276_1920.jpgSnow covering the Lika region

And that's exactly what happened this weekend, when falling snow produced treacherous driving conditions across a wide area of Croatia. On some motorways, a ban on trucks with trailers and tractors with semi-trailers is in place because of the continually falling snow. Another response to the falling snow has been to make winter vehicle equipment mandatory.

HAK1.jpegA thick layer of snow covers the road near Delnice at 19.14 on Sunday 24 January 2021 © HAK

While the Croatian capital was experiencing its warm spell, falling snow continued to descend on more mountainous regions of the country, Lika and Gorski Kotar in particular. And it is those that remain most affected by the treacherous driving conditions. Hrvatske Autoceste (Croatian Motorways) are responding to the continuing weather conditions. But, they released pictures of one motorway section near Delnice which, even after plowing, was 30 minutes later again covered by the falling snow.

HAK2.jpegA snowplow arrives at 19.15 to clear the snow © HAK

Thick falling snow and ice made it difficult to drive on the A6 Zagreb - Rijeka highway. The National Association of Drivers and Vehicle Owners (HAK) issued a series of warnings for the following routes: A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče between the junctions of Bosiljevo II and Maslenica, A6 Rijeka-Zagreb between the junctions of Bosiljevo II and Kikovica, state road DC1 between Zagorje and Gračac and state road DC3 through Gorski Kotar between Zdihovo and Kikovica.

HAK3.jpegBy 19.45 the road is in the same state as before the snowplow arrived, because of continually falling snow © HAK

HAK also reported that there is currently no passable road for trucks with trailers and tractors with semi-trailers from the direction of the continental interior towards Rijeka and Istria and Dalmatia and vice versa. The colder temperatures are expected to stick around for most of the early part of the week, although the skies may be clearer in some regions. Temperatures will rise again heading towards next weekend under an increasing cloud cover, but the chilly conditions might well bounce back towards the end of next weekend. Zagreb itself could even experience more snowfall at that time.

Monday, 2 November 2020

HUKA: Increased Traffic and Revenue on Croatian Motorways in 2019

ZAGREB, November 2, 2020 - The total number of vehicles on Croatian motorways in 2019 increased by 4.19% compared to 2018 while motorway toll revenue amounted to HRK 3.15 billion without VAT, which is a rise of 4.89%, the Croatian Association of Motorway Road Toll Concession Holders (HUKA) said on Monday.

The association's national report of the motorways notes that the total motorway network in Croatia at the end of 2019 covered 1,306 kilometres of motorways that were managed by four companies: Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC), Bina-Istra, Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb (ARZ) and Autocesta Zagreb-Macelj.

The length of the network of motorways did not change in 2019.

Investments for the construction of new motorways in 2019 amounted to HRK 434.56 million while investments in the current sections amounted to HRK 389.91 million, which is a total of HRK 824.47 million. Investments of HRK 716.48 million are planned for the construction of new legs and HRK 661.06 million for already constructed sections.

The total number of vehicles on motorways in 2019 increased by 4.91% compared to 2018 or 86,660,015 vehicles with each of the companies generating an increase in turnover.

HUKA recalled that Croatia operates a closed toll system on its motorways with tolls at exit and entry points.

The report notes that last year a total of 2,697 accidents were recorded on the motorways with 31 fatalities and 459 people sustaining injuries.

The total number of accidents increased by 3.71% compared to 2018 while the number of fatalities decreased by 8.82% and there was a fall of 18.76% in the number of people injured in those traffic accidents.

(€1 = HRK 7.568318)

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Croatian Motorways Goes Ahead With Zagreb-Sisak Road Completion

As Novac/Kresimir Zabec writes on the 2nd of October, 2020, back in June, Croatian Motorways (HAC) announced a preliminary consultation on the open public procurement procedure for the Novi Vinodolski bypass, and the announcement of the tender is still pending. There is also the 11 kilometres of the Zagreb-Sisak road to deal with.

''We're working on financing the construction of the Novi Vinodolski bypass with funds from the 'Competitiveness and Cohesion' EU Fund. If we succeed in that, with the funds we've earmarked for this project, we'd start the construction of the last part of the Zagreb-Sisak motorway,'' explained the President of Croatian Motorways, Boris Huzjan.

Non-refundable funds

The estimated value of the works stands at 495 million kuna. It is a 9.8 kilometre long bypass, of which 6.5 kilometres runs along the route of the future A7 motorway, and the remaining 3.3 kilometres refers to the connecting roads to the Adriatic Highway (D8). Part of the bypass, more precisely the Selce-Novi Vinodolski section, is an integral part of the future A7 Rupa-Rijeka-Zuta Lokva motorway and its position coincides with the left carriageway of this motorway.

The Zagreb-Sisak motorway was completed to Lekenik and an addition 11 kilometres to Sisak needs to be constructed. HAC obtained all the necessary project documentation as well as a building permit. The proposal of existing installations on the route is in progress and activities on land acquisition have begun. The estimated value of the construction of these 11 kilometres of motorway stands at 291 million kuna, and the planned construction period is two years.

If this were to happen, HAC would, for the first time in its history, be able to obtain an EU grant for some of its projects. Namely, the EU doesn't co-finance road projects that will be paid later. Since the Novi Vinodolski bypass will be in the profile of a semi-motorway and no toll collection is foreseen for it, the project can be nominated for co-financing from EU funds.

Recovery fund

As has since been learned unofficially, the representatives of the Ministry of Transport are intensively negotiating with the European Commission to transfer several large infrastructure projects financed from the budget of Croatian Roads and Croatian Motorways to co-financing from EU funds. The plan is to "transfer" some of the projects already nominated for funding from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Fund to the newly launched EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, which would open the possibility of co-financing some new projects from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Fund.

Until now, HAC and HC projects could not be nominated for co-financing from that fund for the period from 2014 to 2020 because there were no more funds for transport projects in it.

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