Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Croatian Road Authority Seals HRK 15.9m Deal with Spegra and Strabag

ZAGREB, September 1, 2020 - The Hrvatske Ceste (HC) road authority has signed a HRK 15.9 million /€2.12m) contract with the Spegra and Strabag construction companies for extraordinary road maintenance which includes four viaducts and a tunnel, and the works are expected to be completed in four months,HC said on Tuesday.

The works cover four viaducts and a tunnel on the Solin-Klis road in Split-Dalmatia County.

Traffic will be redirected for the duration of the works.

During the night between Wednesday, September 2 and Thursday, September 3 this road will be completely closed between 9.30 p.m. and 5.30 a.m, HC said.


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Monday, 10 August 2020

Ucka Unsafe? Red Light for Croatian Tunnel as Germans Test Them Out

August the 9th, 2020 - Many foreigners are quick to compliment the mostly excellent Croatian roads and motorways, but just how good are the tunnels? The Germans tested several, and while a couple got the green light, one heavily used Croatian tunnel didn't do quite so well...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of August, 2020, a study by the ADAC, a well known German car club, published an assessment of the safety of some European tunnels, and one Croatian tunnel unfortunately got a red mark next to it. The Ucka Tunnel was the one to receive the unflattering German review via an assessment according to which it doesn't meet the proper safety standards.

The ADAC has investigated the safety of sixteen Austrian, Italian and Croatian tunnels, mostly those through which most German tourists go when driving to their holiday destinations in the aforementioned countries. Of the Croatian tunnels, Konjsko, located on the A1 road, as well as Sveta Tri Kralja on the A2 section, were also explored and they each received a green mark, which means that they meet all of the necessary safety requirements, and it was stated that everything was fine with them, according to a report from Vecernji list.

All of the Italian tunnels received a red mark, while all of the Austrian tunnels received green marks. As for the Croatian tunnel ''in the red'', the Ucka Tunnel, the disadvantage is that it has only one pipe. A big complaint is that there are no emergency exits in this particular Croatian tunnel, nor are there any speakers or external entrances for rescuers. It has been noted that it is confusing for drivers that the number of lanes in front of and within the tunnel itself is not the same, and it has been deemed that all this reduces the general level of safety while driving through the tunnel.

Of the sixteen European tunnels inspected, more than half have failed to meet the minimum standards set by the European Union. While Austria has adequately restored its tunnels, the Italian tunnels give the impression of insecurity according to the car club.

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Saturday, 27 June 2020

IGH Institute Signs Contracts with Croatian Roads Exceeding 12 Million Kuna

As Novac writes on the 26th of June, 2020, following the carrying out of the necessary public procurement procedures, the IGH Institute was awarded three new contracts with Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) for the construction supervision and reconstruction services of three traffic routes with a total value of around 12.3 million kuna.

This is a complete supervision over the construction of a highway of more than six kilometres in length through Karlovac in the direction of Split, which will improve traffic safety and capacity, especially during times of increased summer traffic. In addition, the new road will completely bypass Turanj, a settlement that has been extremely congested so far, and will connect to the already built Korana bridge. As already mentioned, IGH together with its partner will supervise the construction, and the value of the contracted work for the company stands at 4,606,992.00 kuna.

The second contract signed with Croatian roads is also for the complete supervision over the construction of the 3.2-kilometre-long bypass of Beli Manastir, which will better solve the need for the reduction of traffic, especially transit, through the very centre of Beli Manastir. This is extremely important because it is expected that the further construction of the Corridor Vc motorway will further emphasise transit traffic. The value of these contracted works for IGH amounts to 3,379,990.00 kuna. The deadline for completion of works is 22 months from commissioning.

Finally, the third contract with Croatian roads includes the supervision over the reconstruction of the new pavement structure of the state road between the settlements of Normanci and the Municipality of Petrijevci, with a total length of slightly more than 17 kilometres. Of particular interest in the project is the planned construction of 14 kilometres of new bike/cycling paths with the reconstruction and extension of 9 kilometres of pedestrian paths. The deadline for construction is 24 months, and IGH will conduct a complete inspection, while the value of the contracted work for the company amounts to 4,300,020.00 kuna.

In addition, they recently signed a contract for the supervision and quality control of the rehabilitation of the Krk Bridge worth a little more than 1,000,000.00 kuna.

IGH currently has around a thousand active contracts for the full range of services it offers, primarily in construction, making it a leading engineering company in the construction sector. Additionally, during the last and this year, IGH hired more than 100 new colleagues, which saw it exceed the number of 500 employees, and in the coming period it plans to hire even more manpower.

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Saturday, 18 April 2020

Oleg Butkovic Teases Cheaper Motorway Usage for Croatian Citizens

As Morski writes on the 17th of April, 2020, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, spoke to RTL Today (Danas) about new measures being prepared by his particular ministry.

''There was no discussion at the state level about the arrival of Czech tourists to Croatia. It ' too early to talk about that at the moment, such a scenario, meaning the the arrival of Czechs or any other foreign nationals is not possible at this moment in time. It's necessary to consider the epidemiological situation in Croatia and in whichever other country. However, the scenario should slowly start being prepared that this situation will normalise and that the curve of those infected by coronavirus will begin to fall across all countries, and that's why all of us ministers have been given the task of preparing measures for when that moment comes by the Prime Minister,'' Oleg Butkovic said.

His department has done its part, he says, they have prepared a number of measures that they think should be discussed, and epidemiologists will need to provide their concluding statements on all this.

''We believe that in the transport sector, some measures should be eased, and public transport should, we believe, be gradually introduced, for example on a Sunday timetable. In regard to maritime transport, we propose to introduce some Zadar-Ancona catamaran lines just for freight. The current topic is also the formation of transit traffic through Croatia, in this part, we think that it should be considered that it no longer be done with police escorts but with the existing corridors, and that you can stop only in certain places,'' said Oleg Butkovic, emphasising once again that everything will eventually be decided on by the epidemiologists.

One possible idea could particularly appeal to Croatian citizens, and that is the cheaper use of the motorways for them.

''We're also considering the possibility of reduce the [road] toll in the summer for Croatian citizens. By about 10 or 20 percent, but these are all things that are still being discussed and will continue being discussed,'' Oleg Butkovic said.

Oleg Butkovic's ''field'' has been among the worst hit by the coronavirus crisis, with transport having all but been halted. Croatia Airlines, which has been falling short for a considerable amount of time now, and since long before the pandemic broke out, is another victim of it.

''The government will do everything to save these companies. This crisis has not only affected Croatia, we're going to seek a common solution at the EU level,'' assured Butkovic.

''None of this really depends on us, but on the situation with the coronavirus and the number of patients there are, but we're preparing everything to normalise the situation in Croatia as soon as possible,'' he concluded.

Follow our dedicated section for more on coronavirus in Croatia.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

VIDEO: New Infrastructure Projects to Relieve Traffic Chaos in Split?

March 11, 2020 - The urban area of Split will become the largest construction site for transport infrastructure after the Peljesac Bridge. 

Dalmacija Danas reports that most of the projects at the Croatian Government session on May 4, 2018, concerned transport infrastructure. The detection of black traffic points, their planning and design, is in the final stages, and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.

According to the Croatian Roads procurement plan for 2020, 523.9 million kuna is planned for investments in transport infrastructure in the area of Split's urban area.

Arranging and leveling of the intersection of Širina in Solin, which records the daily flow of vehicles at an average of 46,941, is an absolute priority of Croatian Roads and the start of public procurement for construction is in the second half of 2020, with a project value of 135 million kuna. This project and the reconstruction of the Stobrec junction is also important because it forms the northern and eastern entrance to Split.

Solinska Street and Zagorski Put were re-categorized into state roads D432 and D433, respectively, on February 14, 2020, and are expected to be reconstructed and completed in 2021. These two roads form an alternative entrance to the city and make a significant contribution to solving traffic jams at the entrance to Split from the Solin direction.

The construction of the Mravinci junction - 2.5 km long TTTS junction with connected roads are extremely important for easing the direction towards Omiš, i.e., this section becomes a true Split bypass. The construction of the Mravinci rotor is also important to realize the regional waste management center project in Lećevica, relocating the Promet garage to Dračevac, as well as implementing the Dračevac technology park project. The value of this project is 336.8 million kuna, and is currently in the process of obtaining a location permit, while the start of procurement for the first phase is expected in the second part of the year.

The Mravince rotor would also become a new entrance to Solin, especially for parts of Solin such as Mravince, Kucina and Priko Voda. It is to these residents of Solin that the future Mravinac ramp would provide safe and fast access. The project, worth 15 million kuna, is in the phase of obtaining a location permit and construction is expected to begin at the end of 2020.

The western ramp at the entrance to the city of Split would allow direct access to Poljicka Street from Ul. Zbora narodne garde, i.e., the present Split bypass. They are currently in the process of finalizing the design, and works on this important ramp are expected early next year. This project would certainly solve the traffic jams that have formed at the entrance to Split for years. The value of the construction of the western ramp is 35 million kuna. The citizens of Split will also be pleased with the reconstruction of Poljicka Street, which includes rehabilitating the Visoko - Mertojak landscapes, reconstructing some intersections, new bicycle paths, bus stops, as well as a lot of new urban equipment. The project is in the preparation phase.  Croatian Roads has decided to include all interested parties when planning this project, especially the city districts and the City of Split, city companies, and others.

The 2020 procurement plan also includes a project for a new exit from the ferry port. It is a two-lane road that would allow faster and safer exit from the ferry port directly Bijankinijeva ul. bypassing the Adriatic Bridge.

All of these projects included in the procurement plan are a guarantee that Croatian Roads are determined to resolve traffic congestion in the area of Split's urban agglomeration, the company said.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Transport Minister Announces Projects Worth 487 Million Kuna to Fix Split Traffic

February 24, 2020 - The Croatian Roads plan for this year includes projects worth 487 million kuna in the area of Split-Dalmatia County, which should address the paralyzing traffic, which is particularly pronounced in the summer months. 

Dalmatinski Portal reports that these are the projects that were agreed at the Government session in Split almost two years ago. The Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, said that the government was well aware that Split and Split-Dalmatia County were behind the rest of Croatia in terms of traffic.

“All projects are planned, which means that they will be realized. We are working on preparing quality documentation so that we can apply for EU funds and secure financing.  We will not be able to apply all projects, but what cannot be covered will be financed from the state budget,” said Butkovic.

The Solin area was defined as the biggest problem, which has seen a 20 percent increase in traffic over the past five years, and the busy intersection in Stobrec with over 50,000 vehicles passing through it daily. The solution is the fast road to Omis, and the project is being prepared for EU funds.

“With the implementation of these projects, southern Croatia will be in line with northern Croatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County,” said prefect Blaženko Boban.

The plans include reorganizing the Split network, which will include the continuation of the Split bypass to Omiš, the overpass at Širina, leveling the intersection in Stobrec, the first phase of the Vučević-Kozjak tunnel junction, which will also allow the construction of the tunnel itself, and further connect to the Adriatic highway towards the Ferry port. It also includes a bridge over the Bay of Kastela. As for the huge traffic jams through the Ferry Port, an emergency solution with a junction to Poljička Road is planned, and the exit from the Ferry Port will go over two lanes. The plan also includes the construction of Solinska Street and Zagorski put as a new entrance to Split, and a second ramp will be built from the National Assembly to Poljička. Public procurement for works on the Mravina ramp will start in September.

Mayor of Split, Andro Krstulovic Opara, says that he is pleased that the segments of the Master Plan for the Development of the City Port and Kopilica are being adopted through the planned projects.

“The Split Ferry Port is the most important island facility. This is where most of the demographic problem is addressed. The ferry port and Kopilica mean not only the connection of the islands, but also all of the south,” he said.

In the County, Croatian Roads also plans to work on the intersection in Makarska, reconstructing the Makarska-Vrgorac road, the Imotski-Zagvozd-border road with BiH, constructing the road on Hvar Poljica-Sucuraj, and the connection via Drvenik to the Ravča junction, Dicmo bypass. Croatian motorways will upgrade the Dugopolje and Rašćane juctions, and HŽ plans to continue with the design and construction of stations on the route planned to connect the Ferry and Airport by the railway.

Following the presentation on what is currently being done on each project, Butkovic signed contracts for a grant of around 20 million kuna for port infrastructure projects for the Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Are Three of Largest Zagreb Roads Set to Get Third Lanes?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of December, 2019, the divestment itself, as they have also pointed out from the City of Zagreb, would allow for a much higher acceptance of traffic on these Zagreb roads, and thus relieve the city centre of traffic, which would also help in a more accurate timetable for public transport.

A third lane and partial denivelation appear to be in the City of Zagreb's plans. The level of traffic in Zagreb these days has caused issues, so, after the City of Zagreb announced a call for proposals for the conceptual design of an extension to Kranjčevićeva, they are now looking to complete a traffic study that will solve the traffic jams on three main Zagreb roads: Slavonska, Zagrebačka and Ljubljanska avenues, Vecernji list writes.

All of this will come with a price tag of 800,000 kuna, and the new design of the Zagreb roads should demonstrate the ability to avoid the congestion that, from west to east, sees about 80,000 vehicles every day as they cross those particular avenues.

For those who want to do a traffic study for the City of Zagreb, this should be done according to a project assignment that already states clearly that the whole problem could be solved by adding a third lane to the currently predominantly two-lane Zagreb roads, and in parts, it should be levelled because these additional traffic jams, at least according to the city government, are created at intersections.

''At peak traffic intervals, saturation is present on certain sections or throughout the avenues. One of the causes of congestion is that most of the intersections on that corridor are at the same level with the roads that connect to it. Despite the fact that all intersections are equipped with state-of-the-art signalling devices and equipment that works depending on the amount of traffic, it's very demanding to try to harmonise the signalling plans, which will allow for the satisfactory flow and travel time of the cars, due to the high traffic load and the limited capacity of roads,'' they stated from the city government.

They want the traffic study they are commissioning to show whether the avenues should be widened to add another lane and whether they should level or "possibly reshape" the existing traffic lights, which are now level with other connecting roads.

The experts who will conducted the 800,000 kuna traffic study must, among other things, count the vehicles along the corridor of the three aforementioned Zagreb roads and anticipate what will happen to the volume of cars, buses and trucks by 2030 if no road interventions are made and no action is taken, at the minimum of what is now being proposed.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Croatian Roads: Here's Who Could Build Country's Most Expensive Road

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of December, 2019, so far, five bids have arrived to Croatian Roads (Hrvatske ceste) for the construction of the state road D-403 in Rijeka, according to a report from Novi list.

Bids for the construction of the most expensive piece of road in the Republic of Croatia were opened on Monday morning by the company Croatian Roads, with the consortium consisting of Slovenia's Kolektor, GP Krk and Sarajevo's Euroasfalt, in the amount of 456.35 million kuna excluding VAT, or 570.44 million kuna with the VAT being the most financially favourable offer of all so far.

Following that comes the offer from Chinese CRBC, the company that is responsible for the construction of Pelješac bridge down in southern Dalmatia, in the amount of 586.34 million kuna with VAT, followed by an offer from the Italian consortium led by Rizzani deEcher, which would build the D-403 road for 598.38 million kuna in total.

The fourth bid to have arrived at Croatian Roads by the Austrian company Strabag comes with a price tag of 638.94 million kuna, while the most expensive offer has come from the Croatian-Turkish consortium consisting of Poduzeće za ceste (PZC) from Slavonski Brod and Yapi Merkezi, offering an amount of 718.37 million kuna, with the value added tax included, to carry out the works on the road.

The estimated value of the works in the procurement process stood at a massive 461 million kuna, excluding VAT, meaning that the only bid by the aforementioned Slovenian-Croatian-Bosnian consortium, which is even lower than that by 5 million kuna falls within the previously estimated amount, and the Chinese state owned company's offer is also close to that, but unfortunately exceeds the estimated amount by just over eight million kuna.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on construction, doing business and tenders in Croatia.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Investment in Croatia: Could EU Funds Help Croatian Roads?

As Novac/Kresimir Zabec/Dora Koretic writes on the 26th of November, 2019, investment in Croatia, while sometimes tricky, is on the rise. As much as three billion euros have been invested in Croatian transport infrastructure projects over the last few years, and even more could be made available in the next period by EU funds, Transport Minister Oleg Butković announced at the 7th Congress of the Croatian Road Society - VIA VITA in Opatija recently.

However, in order to use and properly implement these funds in time, the Public Procurement Act needs to be urgently amended, Butković pointed out.

''The biggest problem so far has been finding a source of funding. Now that we have the money, we have to wait more than a year to run the tender. That's really frustrating. Tender appeals are made by non-employee companies that deal with real estate and buy time. I urge the Minister of Economy, Darko Horvat, to move to amend the law. To raise the cost from 5,000 kuna to 100,000 kuna, and shorten the appeal deadlines,'' said the Minister of Transport, who publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the current Public Procurement Act for the very first time.

The act puts a huge weight on the shoulders of investment in Croatia, and he was joined by Croatian Roads CEO Josip Škorić, who firmly shares his belief and has been pointing out the issues with that law for more than a year now. According to him, an equal or perhaps bigger problem to potential investors is the Construction Act. He believes that the amount of responsibility placed on the backs of investors is hindering investment in Croatia in general.

''Today, when we start the construction of a 20 kilometre road, we have to resolve all the boundaries of the plots along which it must pass in the land registry. Well, just let someone else handle the land registry! At one time, everything was handled by the contractor, and today everything has fallen on the back of investors,'' said Škorić, who demanded that the model be changed because the current law doesn't treat the construction of line infrastructure in the right way at all.

At the panel, which discussed the projects of the transport sector, Dario Silić, the director of Bina Istra, announced the construction of the second part of the Učka tunnel. According to him, agreements are underway to finance the project. According to rough estimates, construction would cost about 1.5 billion kuna in total. The construction would be financed by Bina Istra and the state would extend its concession period over the Istrian Ypsilon. Both Silič and Butkovič announced that construction could begin next year, and would take between three and three and a half years to complete.

The tender for the construction of the Vc corridor from Osijek to Beli Manastir should be announced by the end of the year, as was explained by the director of Croatian Motorways, Boris Huzjan. According to him, an agreement was reached that this project would be jointly funded by the EBRD and HBOR. However, as we has since been unofficially learned from the Ministry of Economy, for some time now, changes have been being considered, such as potentially introducing different rules during the appeal process.

Denis Vukorepa, the director of the Port Authority of Rijeka, spoke about the largest project in the Northern Adriatic. He said that seven major global companies that were interested in concluding the project in mid-January 2020 would be invited to submit their final bids. According to him, the Port of Rijeka is the only port in the Northern Adriatic that has excess free container capacity.

''This enables us to become the leading container ship port in the Northern Adriatic in the next five to seven years. We can even reach Koper in terms of traffic,'' Vukorepa stated.

According to Minister Butković, the forthcoming period should be the period of investment in Croatian railways. There are no major projects that are going without significant interest, but the actual realisation of these projects will make little difference without restructuring all of the companies operating within the sector.

A sector policy letter defining the restructuring model was due to be adopted in June, but of course, it has not yet been adopted. Butković has openly acknowledged that it's difficult to reconcile the restructuring model due to different interests within HZ Passenger Transport, HŽ Infrastructure and HZ Cargo. However, an agreement was indeed reached. Another problem is unions with which there is no consent and it is obvious that without union consent, things won't go well.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on investment in Croatia.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Croatian Island Brač Building First Tunnel Near Ložišća

The Korito tunnel, the first tunnel on the Croatian island of Brač, is a critical portion of an important bypass, and everything could be finished by the beginning of the 2020 tourist season.

In April this year, a contract with the company Strabag d.o.o., worth HRK 32 million, was signed for the construction of a bypass around the town of Ložišća on the island of Brač. As JutarnjiList reports on November 24, 2019; the contractual deadline is 18 months, which means that construction of the tunnel is expected to be complete by late October 2020, Hrvatske ceste (Croatian Roads) reported.

The 1560-meter-long bypass of Ložišća, along with the Korito tunnel, is the most significant construction project ever undertaken on Brač. The tunnel is the first ever built on the island of Brač and the first tunnel being built on Croatian state roads in six years.


The Korito tunnel will be 190 meters long with portal structures and involve 160 meters of excavation. Excavation of the northern precinct of the Korito Tunnel began on August 1, 2019 and the tunnel excavation itself began on September 5.

At the beginning of October, at the end of tourist season, work began on the excavation of the southern portion of the tunnel, which temporarily closed the local road which connects the town of Bobovišća with the rest of the coastal road network. Traffic for this settlement has been diverted to a temporary road in partnership with the town of Milna and Mayor, Fran Lozić. Temporary communal, fire and other services have been set up to operate effectively on this modest-sized detour road. The excavation of the tunnel is being carried out according to conservation guidelines to preserve the church of Gospe od Korita (Our Lady of Korita), which is close-by.


In order to re-open the seaside road to Bobovišća for traffic as soon as possible, completing construction on the southern concrete tunnel portal is the top priority and targeted for end of February 2020.

Work on the rest of the route is progressing well, and an early completion of the contractually agreed deadline is expected. In fact, it’s possible that the road will be in full use for the 2020 tourist season.

Hrvatske ceste, which operates a network of state roads with a total length of 7152 kilometers, is continually investing in the construction and upgrade of roads which connect the islands to the mainland. They are also improving the transport infrastructure of the islands, which is important for locals throughout the entire year and for tourists during the summer months.

Here is a video of the Korito tunnel project from Hrvatske Ceste:

And a recent aerial video of Ložišća on the island of Brač:

More information on Hrvatske Ceste (Croatian Roads) projects can be found on their excellent website here. For more information on infrastructure developments in Croatia, follow our lifestyle page.

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