Monday, 27 June 2022

Croatia's Part of Vc Corridor to be Completed in 2024, Minister Says

ZAGREB, 27 June 2022 - The Pan-European transport corridor Vc's section to Beli Manastir will be opened in late October and Croatia's 88-kilometer-long part of the corridor will be completed in 2024, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said in Osijek on Monday.

After visiting the construction site, he said works were proceeding very well and that after the inauguration of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section, the HAC motorway operator would invite bids for the remaining five kilometers to the Hungarian border, a section estimated at HRK 300 million.

The total investment, including the bypass near Beli Manastir, is HRK 570 million, the minister said.

This transport corridor has big prospects as it will connect Budapest and the southernmost Croatian seaport of Ploče, he said, adding that works on the corridor in Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to intensify.

HAC director Boris Huzjan said more than 90% of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section had been completed.

The 17.5-kilometer section is worth HRK 495 million, he said, adding that 59 kilometers of the Croatian part of Vc are currently in use and that 83 will be in use after the completion of the Osijek-Beli Manastir section.

Osijek-Baranja County head Ivan Anušić said Vc had a big impact on the City of Osijek and the county as well as on other Slavonia counties. This international route will facilitate the flow of people and goods between Budapest and Ploče, he added.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

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.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

HAC Motorway Operator to Full Digitize Its Services by Year's End

ZAGREB, 24 May 2022 - The state-run Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) motorway operator is going to digitize the network of motorways and the digitization is to be completed by the end of this year, the Jutarnji List daily reported on Tuesday.

This means that 1,727 analog cameras on the motorways will be replaced by digital ones and a completely new traffic information system will be introduced.

To this end, the HAC headquarters in Zagreb will set up a centre for traffic management and surveillance to collect real-time information on a state of affairs in traffic along all the motorways in Croatia, which includes the motorways managed by HAC and also the Istria Y motorway and the Zagreb-Macelj motorway.

For this expensive and demanding project to be implemented, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, and Austria together applied for the EU funds under the CROCODILE programme. Croatia has been granted HRK 100 million, which is 85% of the eligible costs, said the daily newspaper.

For more, check out our politics 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.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Croatian Motorways "Makeover" to Total 263 Million Kuna from Own Funds

May the 4th, 2022 - Croatian Motorways (HAC/Hrvatske autoceste) is set to spend a massive amount on a ''makeover'' of sorts. Here's precisely how a total of 263 million kuna will be spent.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, Croatian Motorways will soon get to work on the demolition of Motel Rastovica on the A3 Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac motorway. A job tender worth around three million kuna is now underway, but, as was confirmed by Croatian Motorways, no new content will be built on the site after the removal of that facility.

What are set to be removed are old and neglected motel and bungalow facilities that have been out of function for a long time now, are in quite a dilapidated condition and, according to Croatian Motorways, pose a danger to the environment and the safety of resort users.

Their removal of Motel Rastovica and its accompanying facilities is part of a wider project of revitalisation and arrangement of the network of rest/stop areas and accompanying service facilities along the entire A3 route, and the construction of a new facility at a specific location is not currently planned, because, according to Croatian Motorways, there is already a very modern fuel station with a shop and a restaurant at that location, which provides a high level of service quality for all road passengers.

The A3 motorway is mostly an old motorway route where the rest area network requires general reconstruction, and in addition to restoring the rest area, new rest plateaus are being built in that direction, existing rest areas are being abolished and dilapidated and devastated ancillary service facilities are being removed. HAC, based on the projection of the optimal layout of rest areas with regard to their type and mutual distance.

The revitalisation project includes about 30 rest areas, and the investment, which Croatian Motorways is financing from its own sources and intends to complete by June 2026, is worth a total of 263 million kuna.

This year, the project will see the completion of the construction of the Crnec rest area on the Ivanja Reka-Jezevo section, the general reconstruction of the Jezevo-south rest area and the Nova Gradiska-Dragalic-north rest area, as well as the reconstruction of the motorway and removal of the Jezevo-north rest area connection.

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

Monday, 7 March 2022

Housing Ukrainian Refugees Could Alter Pre-Bankruptcy Saga for Motel Plitvice

March the 7th, 2022 - Motel Plitvice was in the news for its pre-bankruptcy saga until recent events began to unfold and the facility became a quarantine ''home'' for truck drivers infected with coronavirus, and now it has provided housing for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country following the recent Russian invasion. Could these new-found roles go in its favour in the legal sense? Maybe.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, precisely how the state will react to the new restructuring plan as a way out of the difficulties of the company owned by Motel Plitvice will soon be shown through the debtor's pre-bankruptcy proceedings.

That said, after the decision to mobilise Motel Plitvice and employees of the company in the function of accepting refugees from Ukraine (as a checkpoint), it's possible that it could become a new precedent in typical Croatian pre-bankruptcy practice.

This remains an open option due to the legal deadlines that threaten to form a break in the continuation of the procedure and in the context of the currently extraordinary circumstances due to Russia's aggression in Ukraine. These dire circumstances called for the mobilisation of Motel Plitvice in a period when the financial and operational restructuring plan was being made. None of the above could have been predicted, and it turns out that these unfolding circumstances are already affecting the normal procedure and the plan, as well as the debtor's financial status.

New ''dice'' are now being rolled in the pre-bankruptcy mosaic and they have erupted at a stage when the EU and Croatia are preparing a comprehensive response to the upcoming exodus of refugees from Ukraine. According to Crisis Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, the number of Ukrainian refugees, if we're to go by UN estimates, could exceed 10 million individuals.

The Republic of Croatia, in resolving the great humanitarian crisis, should accept 35-70,000 of these people and, by activating a temporary mechanism, ensure their proper and organised reception for a longer period, which includes integration into social and educational systems, as well as the labour market. One of the first checkpoints which was immediately activated as a transit solution is Motel Plitvice with about 40 employees, all of whom have now been made available to the state.

Croatian Motorways (HAC) has confirmed that they received information on the Order for the mobilisation of Motel Plitvice to organise the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine, which, among other things, stipulates that the implementation money is being provided from the state budget for 2022.

They pointed out that therefore, any legal activities regarding Motel Plitvice will not be performed as long as this mobilisation remains in force. However, they added that after this situation is dealt with, the activities on the reconstruction of the rest area will be continued.

Through HAC's evaluation of these new circumstances, the debtor can obviously hope for a break to resolve the pre-bankruptcy issues in which the creditors seem to be able to settle successfully based on extra income. In this procedure, out of 39 million kuna in the claims of unsecured creditors (there are no secured ones), about 33 million fall on the claim of HAC and close to 4 million on Plitvice National Park.

Time is running out despite these unprecedented circumstances because the deadline approved for the extension of the procedure expires on April the 11th, but according to the director of Motel Plitvice, Hrvoje Bilic, a solution will obviously be found in extraordinary circumstances when it comes to extending it further.

"According to the agreement, a legal solution is now being sought for a model that would ensure the continuation of business for some time," explained Bilic, adding that the workers were relieved because of it. The head of the Trade Union of Tourism and Services of Croatia, Eduard Andric, noted that the aim is to keep hold of staff regardless of the outcome of the pre-bankruptcy proceedings.

The next step is to expect a new intervention in the restructuring plan, and it was confirmed that a very generous offer will remain on the table to settle creditors in the amount of 60 percent (with a proposal to write off 40 percent) in 48 installments, with a one year grace period.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

HAC Looking for Three Security Guards to Monitor Krk Bridge

February 13, 2022 - HAC (Croatian Highways) is looking for a team of three people to work as security guards and monitor Krk bridge for one year, and plans to pay a total of 850,000 kuna and provide all the necessary amenities.

The job lasts 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, of course, not for the same person, but for several of them, whose mission it is to keep safe the connection between the mainland and Croatia's largest island. Croatian Motorways (HAC) are looking for security guards who will monitor Krk bridge and make sure everything is in order for 12 months, from the houses where tolls were paid until last June to the "other side", and the "gage" to be paid 850 thousand kuna will start in April, reports Večernji List.

As many as 26,280 hours are expected to be done by a team of three people, who will record their arrivals and departures electronically, in order for the employer to ensure that these hours are actually worked, and the company from which the security guards will arrive must provide and real-time digital surveillance of security guards' detours. Why? So that "potential incidents" could be reported at the same time, and a picture of them could arrive. Everything that is done must be submitted to HAC in a report by the 5th of each month, and the Motorways will provide the "guardians" of the bridge less than a kilometer and a half long with an equipped working room with heating, electricity, telephone, toilet, and dressing space”.

''The Krk Bridge is a protected object of national importance, which needs to be safeguarded in order to prevent illegal actions directed towards it'', HAC explains. They also mentioned that "no devices and equipment for technical protection have been installed on the Krk Bridge", so it is "necessary to ensure physical protection, which includes the presence of persons performing protection and guarding activities". Or, in other words, the bridge does not have cameras, so surveillance must be done with the eyes.

''Since HAC does not have its own capacity to perform physical surveillance and protection, it is necessary to provide it from the outside, in compliance with regulations (Law on Private Protection and Ordinance on the conditions and manner of implementation of physical protection)'', they added.

For more, check out our business section.

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, 31 August 2021

HAC Wins Global Road Safety Award, Announces New Projects

ZAGREB, 31 Aug, 2021 - The Hrvatske Autoceste (HAC) motorway operator has won the International Road Federation (IRF) global "Find a Way" road safety award, HAC said on Tuesday, noting that the award was a great international recognition.

The IRF award was instituted as part of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety by IRF Chairman Abdullah Al-Mogbel in recognition of the value of political leadership in driving road traffic injury reduction strategies.

The award is presented every year to public companies in recognition of their dedication to road safety, HAC explained.

IRF executive director C. Patrick Sankey said that road operators have a central role in enabling interaction for participants in road traffic in a safe and positive way through measures that reduce the risk of road accidents.

HAC Management Board Chair Boris Huzjan said that HAC was greatly honoured that IRF had recognised its work and that the award acknowledged the efficiency of Croatia's policy and strategy in traffic management on state-owned highways.

HAC notes that it manages most of the highway network in Croatia and that it plans to further improve road safety through two major projects.

One is designed to replace the existing variable-message signs with new generation equipment to improve traffic flow and information for participants in traffic. The project will start in 2022 and should be completed by the end of 2024.

The second project is designed to improve highway fencing to reduce the consequences of road accidents. This project is set to start in 2022 and should be completed by the end of 2025.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

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.

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