Monday, 26 September 2022

Another New Croatian Bridge Planned for Central Dalmatia

September the 26th, 2022 - Peljesac Bridge might have taken all of the limelight away from, well, just about everything else for a while, but there will soon be another Croatian bridge in town.

As Morski writes, by the end of this year, Croatian Roads (Hrvatske ceste) will announce a tender for the technical and design solution of the new bridge over Kastela Bay, which will connect Split and Kastela and at the same time represent the fastest connection of the second largest city in the country with a highway, this state-owned company confirmed for tportal.

This facility is part of a wider project called ''New entrance to Split/Novi ulaz u Split'', and it includes the construction of a new road from the Vucevica intersection on the highway, through the Kozjak tunnel and over the two-lane road to Kastela, then over the aforementioned bridge into Split and then finally to the ferry port. It is worth several billion kuna and four years ago it was included in the list of strategic projects of the Republic of Croatia.

It was announced that the part from Vucevica to Kastela will be financed by Croatian Roads from its own resources, including the tunneling through Kozjak, and for that part of the investment, the public procurement procedure for the execution of the works for this new Croatian bridge has already been initiated. The documentation for the bridge itself will be prepared for financing from European Union (EU) funds.

While it won't take anywhere near as long as Peljesac Bridge did to come to fruition, the completion of the entire project for this new Croatian bridge in Central Dalmatia is not expected before the year 2027.

In addition to the traffic connection of the congested Split agglomeration, the ''New entrance to Split'' project should result in a welcome a twenty-kilometre shorter journey between this city and the City of Zagreb, and finally enable Kastela to have a direct connection with the highway. In addition, it will bring a new road access to Split itself, a city located on a peninsula, which has been dependent on two roads on its eastern part for many decades now.

Apart from the confirmation of the tender for the new bridge, Croatian Roads did not want to provide any additional information on this topic.

Across the wider Split area, Croatian Roads currently implementing several projects worth several billion kuna, but despite the announcements, physical works haven't yet started in most of them. It is precisely in this area that the two busiest points in all of Croatia are located, the intersections of Solin and Stobrec, which are used by about 60,000 vehicles on a daily basis, while the ferry port with five million passengers a year is almost impossible to access during the hot summer months.

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

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Big Brother is Watching: 1700 Cameras Placed Along Croatian Roads

August the 20th, 2022 - There have been 1700 brand new cameras placed along Croatian roads, and with numerous traffic accidents occurring every year, with that number heightened during the main summer tourist season, it's worth knowing about the systems put in place along Croatian roads.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, each and every tourist season, especially during its very peak, traffic accidents occur up and down the country on Croatian roads. This isn't remotely surprising given the intensity of the traffic at that time of year, it also shouldn't come as much of a shock because of the level of fatigue and the loss of concentration of drivers who sometimes sit behind the wheel without a break for much longer than they would otherwise. Accidents often occur because drivers put everything else aside, such as rest, in order to reach their destination as soon as possible. In such unfortunate cases, instead of enjoying the summer break, they often experience a tragedy on the road.

That's why it's good to know a little more about highway traffic camera systems that help respond to crisis situations along Croatian roads. Croatian Motorways (HAC) have now initiated the implementation of a new traffic information system on their roads, as part of which more than 1,700 digital cameras will be installed for a brand new video surveillance and video detection system, writes HAK Revija.hr.

"As part of this wider project, analog cameras will be replaced by new digital and more technologically advanced ones. The new cameras will be able to detect potentially dangerous situations quickly and more safely, such as instances of people driving in the opposite direction, a car which had stopped, pedestrians on the road, and owing to that, there will be a faster reaction involved informing other road users about the event, the location, and the current road conditions.

Automatic incident detection (AID) alert the employees at the Traffic Monitoring and Safety Centres (CNUP), located along the entire highway network, straight away. AID triggers an audible alarm in the event of an incident, automatically shows the location of the incident to the operator and records everything. In addition to the incidents already mentioned, AID warns of traffic congestion, slow vehicles and any loss of visibility. An alarm sounds in the tunnel when a loss of camera visibility due to the appearance of smoke due to a fire is detected," Croatian Motorways explained.

As stated by Croatian Motoeways, the new Crocodile 2 Croatia (Cro 2 Cro) traffic control and management system is part of the wider Crocodile project, which was launched at the European Union level. The introduction of this system will ensure the coordinated management and the proper control of traffic and see Croatia become part of the integrated ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) on European Union road routes.

What's the procedure from the moment the cameras record a crisis situation to its resolution?

"In the case of an extraordinary event, the operators at CNUP initiate the notification procedure in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure and call the emergency services (112, and if necessary, the police, emergency medical assistance, the fire department, the patrol service, the water authority inspectors, and hunting authorities). Upon the alarm being sounded because of an extraordinary event, and in accordance with its classification, an algorithm and scenario are automatically launched, which sets adequate traffic signals on light-changing signs in order to inform other road users who might encounter the event in a timely manner about it, telling them to adjust the speed of their vehicle. The public is then also informed about the state and conditions on the road through HAK and HAC's websites,'' they stated from Croatian Motorways.

Then, upon arrival at the scene of the event, the same is ensured by the patrol service with adequate temporary regulation of traffic, until the extraordinary event is declared over.

"In the case of the need to remove the vehicle, a contractual contractor will be called to come to the scene in question and take the vehicle away. In the event of the need to close a section of the nighway, a corresponding protocol will be initiated and mutual communication is carried out between the managers of public Croatian roads in order to activate the appropriate traffic boards to guide detour traffic as soon as possible and allow the same traffic to flow," they noted.

When asked how much time passes on average from the event being recorded by the cameras to the reaction of the appropriate emergency services and their arrival at the scene, they stated from HAC that upon receiving the sounded alarm, the emergency and operational services are called without delay and they arrive at the scene very quickly.

For more on driving in Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Croatian Motorways Issues Advice as Another Busy Weekend is Upon Us

August the 13th, 2022 - The height of the scorching summer tourist season is now well and truly upon us, and with more and more foreign visitors entering the country either by air and then hiring cars, or by road through Croatia's many land borders, Croatian Motorways (HAC) has issued some advice to all those using the country's roads to head to their various destinations, usually on the coast.

Yet another busy summer weekend is upon us, and with an absolutely tragic accident involving a bus recently, which took the lives of several individuals, Croatian Motorways has made sure to make Croatia's road users aware of some of the realities of driving here at this wildly busy time of the year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the busy summer season here in Croatia, hundreds of thousands of vehicles enter the country, which increases the risk of accidents, some of which are fatal. The head of the Centre for the Supervision and Management of Motorway Traffic, Davor Bicanic, appealed to drivers to enable the creation of a so-called emergency corridor, as reported by HRT.

''All important information from Croatian motorways and roads, especially from critical sections, such as tunnels, arrives in real time to the control room of Croatian Motorways. We're currently implementing a traffic information system, as part of which we're replacing old analog cameras with new, more technologically advanced digital cameras, around 1,700 cameras are working at this moment in time,'' Bicanic pointed out.

"This new system has the possibility of providing automatic video detection of certain incident situations, such as people driving in the opposite direction, a pedestrian being on the motorway, a vehicle which has stopped on the road, and so on. Automatic video detection enables our operators working within the traffic control and management centres to react faster and provide the latest information to other road users who find themselves on the Croatian motorways and roads which have been affected,'' he added.

When it comes to the seemingly eternal problem of terrible accidents and some absurd moves being made by arrogantly over-confident drivers, Bicanic said that it would be nice if an emergency corridor became a routine for drivers using Croatian motorways.

"An emergency corridor enables the passage of emergency medical aid vehicles, firefighters and the police, to reach the scenes of traffic accidents as soon as possible and to provide assistance to the victims involved. The emergency corridor is formed so that vehicles in the left traffic lane move as far to the left as possible, and vehicles in the right traffic lane move as far to the right as possible. For the drivers, it's a small shift, but that shift means a corridor towards remaining alive for a critically injured person,'' stressed Bicanic.

For more on Croatian motorways and driving in Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 30 July 2022

New Croatian Road Rules in Force Today: Here's What's Changed

July the 30th, 2022 - There are some brand new Croatian road rules in force as of today, so let's take a look into what's changing.

As Index vijesti writes, new Croatian road rules are in force today following amendments to the Law on Amendments to the Law on Road Traffic Safety, which introduces significant innovations in the legal regulations in the field of road traffic safety across the country.

It regards some comprehensive changes to the umbrella legal regulation on driving in Croatia, for which detailed preliminary analyses were made in order to improve existing practices from every perspective necessary for greater safety and more practical driving conditions, and all related professions and institutions were consulted during the drafting process as were people and road users themselves, they stated from the Ministry of the Interior (MUP).

Below are some of the most important changes to the Croatian road rules

New categories of vehicles – Personal means of transport such as electric scooters, etc

For the first time ever, the participation of electric scooters, electric unicycles, segways and the like on the country's road system has been fully and legally regulated. They have been classified into a special category of vehicles, for which a common name - a personal means of transport - was introduced.

A personal means of transport is a vehicle that isn't classified in any vehicle category in accordance with special regulations. It doesn't have a seat, and the working volume of its engine isn't greater than 25 cm³, the continuous power of the electric motor isn't stronger than 0.6 kW and when on a flat road, it doesn't develop a speed greater than 25 km/h. This of course regards self-balancing vehicles, such as unicycle with motor or electric drives, scooters with motor or electric drives, etc.).

Due to this new definition of the aforementioned means of transport and the introduction of a new term for it, other provisions of the Act relating to their safe participation in traffic have also been adjusted. The new law prescribes the right and manner of using the surfaces on which they can travel and the conditions that must be met by these vehicles and their drivers when using the roads.

Additionally, drivers of these so-called ''personal vehicles'', as well as bike riders, in accordance with the new Law, may not drive their vehicle using headphones, as this would reduce their ability to react quickly and safely drive the vehicle with their full focus. In case of a violation of the prescribed obligation, a sanction is prescribed, i.e. a fine in the amount of 300 kuna.

The new Act additionally prescribes areas where the driver is obliged to adjust the speed of their vehicle. As such, there are so-called ''other surfaces'' so that these new regulations, at least in that part, would also be applicable to new categories of vehicles, i.e. to vehicles which fall into the ''personal means of transport'' category. In addition, the new Croatian road rules allow drivers (category B) to drive motorised tricycles in Croatia, but this is subject to certain conditions.

The temporary incapacity to drive and the obligation of a doctor

The amendment to Article 233 introduces an obligation for all doctors, i.e. the doctor who examined or treated the driver or the patient's chosen doctor (GP) to warn the driver of their temporary incapacity, which cannot be longer than six months. Doctors are obliged to record the given warning in the patient's medical documentation.

After the expiration of the period of the driver's temporary incapacity, the driver will not be referred for another medical examination, and misdemeanor sanctions are prescribed for doctors who fail to notify the driver of their temporary incapacity to drive and who fail to properly record this information in the patient's medical documentation.

Sanctions are also in force for drivers who drive a vehicle on the road when they have been issued a doctor's warning about a temporary health condition which stops them from doing so.

However, it's important point out that the provisions on the temporary incapacity of the driver to drive a vehicle will come into force on the day of the adoption of amendments to the Ordinance on health examinations of drivers and candidates for drivers, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health.

A deadline has been set for the Health Minister (Vili Beros), with the prior consent of the Interior Minister (Davor Bozinovic) to harmonise the Ordinance on health examinations of drivers and candidates for drivers ("Official Gazette/Narodne Novine", no. 137/15, 132/17 and 10/20) with the provisions of this Act within 12 months from the date of entry into force of this Act.

In relation to safety and health factors, the new Croatian road rules prescribe a sanction of 300 kuna for a driver choosing to drive a vehicle without a first aid kit in it when using the road, in accordance with the rulebook (pravilnik) prescribing the technical conditions of vehicles participating in road traffic.

A corridor for the passage of emergency vehicles

Crisis situations over the last two years have shown insufficient prominence and knowledge of the necessary reactions of road users in order to allow emergency vehicles and personnel uninhibited, urgent access to incident locations as easily and quickly as possible.

Therefore, these new Croatian road rules clearly define the need for a corridor for the passage of emergency services vehicles on roads with more than two traffic lanes in the event of an incident situation. This will be done in order for drivers to acquire the understanding of the need for the move, and to alter driving culture itself in the sense of there needing to be a uniform way of ensuring a safe corridor for the passage of emergency services vehicles. The corridor defined by the Law is uniform with other member states of the European Union.

An introduction of new terms and higher fines for speeding

New terms as part of new Croatian road rules have also been defined, such as "traffic zone in a protected cultural-historical entity'', ''contact zone", "assistive pedestrian means", "rider" and "automated vehicle".

For the first time, the participation of ''riders'' in road traffic has been regulated, and a new term has been introduced that describes a fully automated vehicle, i.e. a vehicle that can move along the road without the presence of a driver (a fully automated vehicle without a steering wheel).

In this regard, a sanction has also been prescribed for drivers who use vehicles with built-in driver assistance systems (partially automated vehicles) in such a way that the vehicle steers independently, and at the same time, i.e. while driving, the drivers don't even sit in the driver's seat, which means that they aren't in the proper ''form'' to react quickly in unexpected situations or unforeseen circumstances.

In addition, these new Croatian road laws regulate the ban on parking vehicles in places intended only for the charging of electric vehicles and enable the sanctioning of negligent drivers, as well as the relocation of vehicles that don't use charging services and are parked in places intended only for charging electric vehicles.

In accordance with the examples from practice, the obligation to submit credible data about the person who was driving the vehicle at the requested time has also been changed or expanded.

Namely, according to the new Croatian road rules, the user of a vehicle is required to provide reliable information about the person who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offense at the request of a police officer or an official from a local self-government unit. Since the current amount of the fine seems to have failed to deter drivers from committing violations, the new Croatian road rules have seen an increase in the amount of the fine issued for speed violations (which is most often imposed in the event of a traffic accident) from 500 kuna to 1,000 kuna.

Other important changes

The latest amendments to the Law also clarify the provisions of the article of the Act that refer to the responsibilities of a person who has access to dual controls of a vehicle during a driving test. In addition, license plates with red and green numbers and letters have been abolished.

It has been made much easier for both legal or natural persons to carry out the work they are engaged in (the production, upgrading, servicing, transport or retail sale of vehicles), i.e. the use of portable/removable license plates is now permitted for the purposes of transporting vehicles to their place of technical inspection and vehicle registration, for which until now, the use of test license plates was prescribed.

Persons who have completed at least an undergraduate university study or an undergraduate professional study, lasting three years in the traffic department (urban), are now allowed to perform the work of vehicle technical inspection supervisor and the work of vehicle testing and documentation processing, considering the compatibility of the education programme for the mentioned professions.

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

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Digital Supercameras, New Video Surveillance Coming to Croatian Roads

May the 26th, 2022 - A large number of brand new supercameras and an entirely new and modern system are set to be installed along Croatian roads as part of an EU project.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as part of the modernisation of the entire system, a new video surveillance and video detection system will be introduced on Croatian, which will involve 1,727 brand new digital supercameras.

“Like any new system before it's commissioned, this one must pass a test phase and the validation process in order to make sure that it will react in a timely manner in real conditions. Given that the system is in a phase when it isn't possible to postpone implementation and testing, this is the only possible time period before the main tourist season when it can be implemented, and so that everything is ready by the end of 2022,'' a Croatian roads (HAC) statement said.

The closure of individual sections of motorways

During the implementation and testing of this new equipment, in order to preserve traffic safety and road users, there will be frequent closures of certain sections of the A1 motorway for all traffic. That traffic will be diverted to bypass routes during the closure, HAC said.

Crocodile 2 Croatia (Cro 2 Cro)

The new traffic control and management system Crocodile 2 Croatia (Cro 2 Cro) is part of the Crocodile project launched at the European Union (EU) level, writes HAC.

“The introduction of this system on Croatian roads will ensure coordinated traffic management and control, making the country become part of the integrated ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) on European roads. The new system will make it much easier for users to plan their travel and get information. The project is being co-financed by the European Union,'' they added.

What will the new cameras on Croatian roads be able to do?

“Along with the implementation of the new traffic information system, a new video surveillance and video detection system will be installed, which will significantly raise the level of road safety.

Analog cameras will be replaced by new digital and more technologically advanced ones. The new cameras will be able to detect potentially dangerous situations faster and more safely (such as when people are driving in the opposite direction, when there's a stopped vehicle, when there's a pedestrian on the road, etc.), and will as such provide a faster reaction in order to inform users about the event,'' concluded HAC.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Good News for Drivers: No Croatian Road Toll Increase This Summer

May the 21st, 2022 - Good news for drivers from both home and abroad this summer as Croatian road toll fees aren't set to increase. There will also be an innovative new way of paying which hopes to streamline the process.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to a report from Net.hr, this year, just like the previous two pandemic-dominated years, in order to support the tourist season, the seasonal Croatian road toll increase of 10 percent will not be introduced.

The move comes as welcome news as we approach summer and as the cost to drive continues to be an issue for road users, with inflation continuing to force fuel prices up and making a full tank an expensive commodity.

"The measure of assistance to bus carriers also remains in force, meaning the application of the additional discount of seven percent for EURO 6 vehicles is being extended, which with the existing discount of 42.4 percent, amounts to almost 50 percent of the Croatian road toll price," they explained from HAC when dicussing this summer's plans for the country's motorways.

Hrvatske autoceste (Croatian roads) confirmed that activities are underway to prepare the public procurement of a new toll collection system to make things easier, as well.

"A tender will be announced at some point this year, and according to current estimates, the system could be completed by the year 2024," they stated from HAC.

The new toll collection system will be based on ''free flow'', without stopping any of the vehicles using the roads, and will be carried out with contactless payment methods. The system will enable a simpler and more technologically modern way of paying Croatian road toll fees, and will also increase the flow of traffic at toll stations so as not to cause traffic jams, bottlenecks or delays.

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

Friday, 29 April 2022

870 Million Kuna for Croatian Roads, State Guarantees Full Amount

April the 29th, 2022 - Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) is set to get credit in the amount of 870 million kuna, and the state is the one who will guarantee it all.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, several days ago, the Croatian Government approved a debt payable to Croatian roads with a state guarantee in the amount of 870 million kuna. With this massive long-term loan, the state-owned company Croatian roads will finally manage to close all of its liabilities on existing loans and secure further financing for various projects and other business plans this year.

It will settle liabilities in the amount of 66.7 million kuna on the loan provided by PBZ (Privredna banka Zagreb) and 214.4 million kuna on the loan provided by a community of banks including Erste, HPB (Hrvatska postanska banka), OTP, PBZ (Privredna banka Zagreb) and Zagrebacka banka (Zaba).

The remaining loan amount of 589 million kuna will provide liabilities for a total of sixteen different projects, the most valuable of which are the Sava bridge near Gradiska, totalling 95 million kuna, the Vukmanicki Cerovac-Mostanje and Farkasevac-Bjelovar roads, as well as the eastern bypass of Novi Marof.

For a new loan, Croatian roads received an offer from the aforementioned Erste, HPB, OTP, PBZ, RBA and Zaba banks in the public procurement procedure, at a fixed interest rate of 1.15 percentage points per year.

The term of the loan is the end of 2022, ie the current year, and the final maturity is set to take place on the twelfth anniversary of the contract being taken out. This state guarantee covers 100 percent of the loan amount to Croatian roads.

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

Friday, 18 February 2022

Contract Signed for Lekenik-Sisak Section of A11 Motorway

ZAGREB, 18 Feb 2022 - A contract for the construction of the last section of the A11 motorway, from Lekenik to Sisak, valued at HRK 281 million without VAT, was signed on Friday by the Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) motorway management company and representatives of the Colas Hrvatska and Geotehnika consortium.

The contract was signed by HAC management board president Boris Huzjan, Geotehnika director Igor Horvat, the president of the management board of Colas Hrvatska Siniša Košćak and a member of the board Goran Tuđan, in the presence of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved, Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, Minister of Construction, Physical Planning and State Assets Darko Horvat and Sisak-Moslavina County Prefect Ivan Celjak.

Plenković underscored that this is a strategic project that will change the dynamic of life in Sisak-Moslavina County.

He added that the 11-kilometer section means a new development impulse to the entire county and in particular for the towns of Sisak and Petrinja.

The funds for the HRK 281 million project will be provided by HAC itself and it is a significant investment for Croatia's GDP, Plenković said, adding that the Pelješac Bridge will be completed with its access roads by the end of the year. By the end of the government's term, the 5C corridor and the Istria Y motorway should be completed, together with the second pipe of the Učka tunnel.

Plenković said that the government plans to invest HRK 45 billion in transport infrastructure in the coming years. Of that amount, HRK 22 billion is for railways, HRK 15 billion is for roads, HRK 3 billion is for ports, and HRK 5 billion is for other forms of transport.

Celjak believes the completion of the motorway will mean a lot for the economy and development in his county. The works are expected to be completed in the next two years.

Minister Butković recalled that HAC advertised the tender and that this is the first contract and investment with its own money.

Following an initial tender in October 2021, the Austrian Strabag company appealed, the State Commission for Supervision of Public Procurement (DKOM)  annulled the selection of the Colas Hrvatska and Geotehnika consortium, and the call for tenders was repeated.

HAC announced on 28 January that it had once again selected the Colas Hrvatska and Geotehnika consortium's bid of HRK 281.34 million without VAT to construct the Lekenik-Sisak section of the A11 Zagreb-Sisak motorway as the most favorable bid.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more news about Croatia, click here

Monday, 18 October 2021

Can Peljesac Bridge Withstand Bura, Earthquakes, Maritime Incidents?

October the 18th, 2021 - With the construction of Peljesac bridge finally drawing to a close and with access roads being hurried along, questions about Croatia's most important strategic project which has united its territory have arisen. Can the bridge cope with strong bura or will it need to be closed? What if an earthquake strikes or if a large vessel runs into one of its pillars? An expert provided answers.

As Morski writes, Peljesac bridge with its elegant 2404 metres has surrounded Mali Ston Bay and finally connected Croatian territory. It blends harmoniously into the Dalmatian landscape, but also into a landscape that is not completely safe, either. The bridge is located in an area known for its very frequent seismic activity, where bura and other coastal winds are common and strong. Might a stronger earthquake bring it down, how many gusts of jugo or bura can it withstand, what if a ship crashes into it, and how will its load-bearing capacity and stability be monitored over the years to come?

The answers to these pressing questions came from Croatian roads/Hrvatske ceste, that is, directly from Goran Legac, the engineer who is leading the historic project of the road connection of southern Dalmatia with the rest of the country, as reported by tportal.

His job is to prepare the project, organise, control and supervise all of the participants and their activities and ensure that everything being done is in line with the set plans in terms of deadlines and finances. Simply put, he and his team of experts from various professions, along with the help of numerous surveillance services, are the ones ''hanging'' over the heads of the Chinese workers who are building Peljesac Bridge, the Greeks (Avax) and the Austrians (Strabag) whose task is to build all of the accompanying access roads.

''For the quality delivery of the construction work itself, the most important thing is announcing and controlling all of the technical specifications through project documentation that must be completed by the contractor. Conditionally speaking, we perform the project with the same goal, but often with a different approach. The contractor strives to optimise the project in order to earn as much as possible while achieving the required quality. The designer, on the other hand, deals with all the highest standards and norms in order to make the construction as durable as possible. And that's in the interest of the client, in this case Hrvatske ceste, because of the maintenance costs involved,'' explained Legac.

In the case of Peljesac bridge, maintenance costs will be of course by very high. In theory, these costs are calculated by dividing the value of the structure by the expected period of use.

''It's common to expect that in the projected life of a construction, let's say we're talking about a 100-or-so-year period, the construction and equipment of the bridge through regular and extraordinary maintenance will be completely repaired and then replaced. So if the construction cost two billion kuna, then at least that much more will be spent in 100 years on maintenance alone. Of course, these costs will be lower in the beginning, and will increase later in accordance with the contractor's guarantees,'' stated Legac.

What exactly has been done to make sure Peljesac bridge will withstand those 100 years, and hopefully much longer, without shortening its ''shelf life'' due to some of the natural disasters such as earthquakes or strong winds Croatia is no stranger to?

Several tectonic faultlines are located very close to the bridge...

Southern Croatia is one of the most seismic areas in the entire country. According to seismologists, the maximum intensity of earthquakes that can hit Dalmatia ranges from 6.3 to 7 degrees on the Richter scale. The fact that there are several faultlines very near to Peljesac bridge isn't particularly encouraging in this case, which is evident by looking at the scientific database of all European seismic faults.

Legac confirmed all this, but also pointed out that there is no room for fear.

''It's true that the bridge is located in a zone which has very high levels of seismic activity, with a design ground acceleration at the foundation level of 0.34 g, which is extremely strong. However, the structure is designed and constructed to withstand what earthquakes can cause without collapsing. The level of usability ensures sufficient rigidity so that the bridge can be used even after an earthquake strikes. So, Peljesac bridge can withstand even the strongest earthquakes that can be reasonably expected to strike the area,'' assured Legac.

He added huge steel pipes with a diameters of 1.8 metres and two metres, were used to base the pillars in the sea itself. Their length ranges from 36 to 130.9 metres. For comparison, the height of the Zagreb Cathedral is 108 metres. These pipes were driven down firmly into the seabed, with the 130.9-metre one being the world record holder because it is the largest ever to be driven down into one piece, as pipes of these lengths are usually put in in extensions.

In addition to being located in a highly seismic area, the location of Peljesac bridge is known for some extremely strong Dalmatian winds. Will we have the same situation as we unfortunately did with the Maslenica bridge, which closes to traffic when bura or jugo blows?

Legac assured that this will not be the case. Namely, during the design and construction, the problem of local winds was taken into account and the construction of the bridge was tested in an air tunnel, writes tportal.

''The analysis predicts wind gusts of as much as 180 kilometres per hour. From my experience, because I've lived near the bridge for about three and a half years now, in Mali Ston Bay the jugo is much more intense than the bura wind is. Along the entire length of the bridge on both sides there will be windbreaks 3.2 which are metres high. You can see similar windbreaks on the Baricevic viaduct on the highway near Sv. Rok. They are a guarantee that the traffic will run smoothly in almost all weather conditions up to a wind speed of 180 kilometres per hour,'' Legac pointed out, adding that there are windbreaks on the construction site and they are waiting for installation as well.

The pillars of Peljesac bridge can withstand the impact of a ship of 10 thousand tonnes.

In addition to natural issues such as earthquakes and wind, the design of the bridge had to take into account its navigation profile, which was insisted on by neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, and some Bosnian politicians were known for their negative stance towards the very construction of the bridge. This guarantees extra protection for both vessels and the bridge itself. But what if a large ship crashes into one of the bridge's pillars? Can he knock it down?

''There are currently no shipping lines in this area. Nonetheless, a waterway passing through the central range is envisaged. Large ships will be able to sail under the bridge. This will prevent large ships from hitting the pillars,'' Legac said.

Even if such a situation were to occur, Peljesac bridge's strong pillars are designed to withstand the impact of a vessel, with those in the middle, between which the waterway passes, being able to fully withstand the impact of a medium-sized ship of 100 metres in length and weighing up to 10,000 tonnes.

Given the strategic importance of Peljesac bridge, the project envisages the installation of equipment for its continuous monitoring. Through it, various parameters will be monitored in real time.

''Concrete isn't eternal, as some claim it to be. You have the example of the Krk bridge, which has undergone four major reconstructions in 40 years. However, Peljesac bridge is built from concrete that has the most modern additives and is much stronger class than the concrete typically used before. Chemical technology has advanced the most in the field of construction, and all of this is a guarantee that Peljesac bridge will be able to serve us for a very long time to come,'' concluded Legac.

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

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