Friday, 11 September 2020

Croatian Motorways Satisfied With 2020 Tourist Season Despite Woes

As Novac/Marijan Brala writes on the 10th of September, 2020, Croatian Motorways (HAC) saw 30 million vehicles in the first eight months of 2020, or 29 percent less than in the same period last year, and 1.5 billion kuna in toll fees or 31 percent less when compared to this time in 2019 were collected. As such, there is a sense of satisfaction with the shaky 2020 tourist season which managed to mitigate minuses caused by the pandemic.

"At the very beginning of the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in Croatia, HAC prepared a Crisis Business Plan according to the guidelines of the Ministry of State Property, which included a 35 percent reduction in toll revenues. Now, after eight months, the situation is somewhat better than that plan," they commented from HAC.

They also revealed that the largest decrease in traffic and revenue in the first eight months of this year compared to last year was recorded on the A7 Rupa-Rijeka motorway, down by 46 percent, and then by 33.6 percent on the A1 Bosiljevo-Split-Ploce motorway and from 33 percent on the highway A3 (Bregana-Zagreb-Lipovac).

The 2020 tourist season mitigated the minuses

Noting that due to the epidemic they adopted a number of measures that directly helped the economy, including the decision to not go with summer/seasonal increase in toll prices of 10 percent, HAC stated that this measure saved citizens and the economy about 33 million kuna.

"At the beginning of the 2020 tourist season in June, traffic on motorways was slightly behind last year's, by 35 percent, but in the summer season it did increase and the differences decreased. Given that last year was a record in all segments of tourism, it's difficult is to compare the numbers this year and the current situation, but in the end, we're satisfied with the 2020 tourist season, which proved that the decisive factor in choosing a holiday destination is its availability within a few hours, which is possible with modern and safe motorways in Croatia,'' they stated from HAC.

Investments are going according to plan

Despite the dire business situation caused by the ongoing epidemic, investments are going according to plan and they haven't stopped. The investments which are planned for this year are in the amount of almost 401 million kuna.

"Of these total planned investments, 196.1 million kuna is planned for construction, and almost 205 million kuna for extraordinary maintenance activities. So far, slightly more than 219.1 million kuna has been realised," they stated from HAC, adding that until the end of this year, there are still investments worth almost 182 million kuna going ahead as initially planned.

The projects in the plan are the corridor V.c - Beli Manastir-Osijek, the Novi Vinodolski bypass, asphalt rehabilitation on the A4 Zagreb-Gorixan highway and the Ranzirni kolodvor/station viaduct.

By the end of the year, the merger of ARZ with HAC will be completed

According to the plan, the process of merging ARZ (the company Autocesta Rijeka-Zagreb) with HAC is underway, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year or more specifically by December the 31st, according to the decision of the Croatian Government from May the 21st this year.

"All necessary activities are being carried out in this merger process, which is a continuation of reform and restructuring in order to achieve additional cost optimisation. Namely, further efficiency improvements are possible in regard to overhead costs, because HAC and ARZ have numerous activities that overlap significantly. These are also related to the operating costs in joint administrative functions, which would be reduced to 15 million kuna per year in the next two years,'' they emphasised from HAC.

In addition, they concluded, the merger creates the proper preconditions for more rational financial management and greater potential for investment in maintenance and construction, and the unification of state-owned motorway management should facilitate the introduction of a new toll collection system and bring savings in public procurement procedures.

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Monday, 17 August 2020

Losses for Croatian Motorways Amid Pandemic: "We'll Survive"

As much as 20 percent of Croatia's GDP is made up by tourism as one of the country's strongest economic branches. Given the fact that Croatia is a destination to which many European tourists drive (with the exception of the UK and Ireland, the nationals of which tend to use air transport), Croatian motorways are usually packed at this time of year with license plates from across the continent visible across the country. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, those same Croatian motorways have experienced expected losses.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of August, 2020, Ivan Ribicic, the director of the toll collection sector at HAC, told Dnevnik N1 what the situation currently looks like on Croatian motorways, which is a state-owned company.

"HAC is operating with a deficit of 30 percent, which is 540 million kuna," stated Ivan Ribicic, but the opening of the tourist season has indeed improved revenue when compared to the way things stood earlier on in the year, he stressed. Given the fact that the ''lockdown month'' for Croatia took place back in April and that Croatia has experienced more toursim than the previously dire predictions suggested, this is logical.

"HAC is in its restructuring phase, we were well on our way to getting better. The crisis caught up with us, but thanks to banks and to our creditors, we managed to get our hands on some stand-by arrangements, so we do have room to breathe and we'll invest the money for the future. If revenues remain at this level, then we will survive,'' the Croatian motorways director explained.

Some workers at HAC have been retiring, taking severance pay along with the move, and that's how they're dealing with unfortunate redundancies, he says.

"It's good that people are using ENC devices more and more, and the campaign is contributing to that. We organised and monitored the hourly loads at Croatia's toll stations, ans so we were able to organise ourselves accordingly,'' said Ribicic.

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Thursday, 2 January 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 26 September 2019

HAC Puts First Horizontal 3D Signage in Place on Croatia's Roads

Croatian Motorways (HAC) has installed a unique (at least by European standards) new system on Croatia's roads.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of September, 2019, Croatian Motorways (HAC) installed the first horizontal 3D signage in the Republic of Croatia on Tuesday night this week in order to warn drivers when they're heading in the wrong direction. The first artificial ones with a 3D effect were installed at the Popovec junction along the A4 Zagreb-Goričan, reports Večernji list.

Horizontal 3D traffic signaling will visually act as a physical obstacle in addition to the existing signs which state ''STOP - WRONG DIRECTION'', thus further alerting drivers when they're going in the wrong direction.

This modern method of preventing vehicles from continuing driving in the opposite direction than they need to be is unique in Europe and is still used as a pilot only over in nearby Austria.

The new horizontal 3D traffic signaling consists of two parts. The first part consists of several smaller marks or lines, usually three, which are transmitted in 3D view, creating an optical deception of encountering "spikes" along the road, and the second, larger part, is also transmitted in 3D view, creating an optical ''illusion'' of an artificial projection, or a "raised surface" which could damage the vehicle.

As such, these 3D signals function in a much better way than the simple signs you're likely to see along Croatia's roads, particularly in the capital, and quickly see to it that drivers who have made a mistake on the road and are heading in the wrong direction are properly informed in a way that they cannot ignore or accidentally bypass.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information on driving in Croatia and much more. If you're interested in Croatia's traffic laws, motorway rules, borders and other tips, click here for detailed info.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

HAC (Croatian Motorways) Could Annul Tender Worth 380 Million Kuna

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of August, 2019, HAC (Croatian motorways) are likely to cancel a tender worth a massive 380 million kuna for the construction of the Beli Manastir - Drava bridge section on the A5 Beli Manastir - Osijek - Svilaj motorway. The reason for this decision was the withdrawal of Integral inženjering (engineering) from Laktaši (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The bidding for the construction of this subdivision on the Croatian part of 5c corridor received three bids. Of these, only Integral from Bosnia and Herzegovina offered a price which was within the estimated value of the works.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina-based company has offered to build the 17.5-kilometer highway for 359.1 million kuna. The value of the offer of the Chinese company Sinohydro Corporation amounts to 416.1 million kuna, while the community of bidders Osijek-Koteks, Gravija, Cestorad and PZC Brod offered a price of 446.1 million kuna, Vecernji list reports.

The bids opened back on the 19th of March, 2019, and on the 2nd of August, the HAC board decided to select Integral's offer, which still required the approval of the supervisory board. But then a major turnaround took place.

As has since been learned, HAC sent a letter to all bidders inviting them to extend the deadline for their bids, which expired on August the 17th. In the same letter, all those who offered their bids were also invited to extend their guarantees, or to offer new guarantees. The deadline for the submission of statements of extension of the validity period of the offer was until August the 20th, and for the submission of a new or extended guarantee, the date was set at August the 22nd, 2019.

The Chinese company and a consortium led by Osijek-Koteks sent the requested documents on time, but nothing came from Integral, creating major problems for HAC because the other two bids were above the estimated value of the works. Therefore, HAC could cancel the tender entirely and announce a new one with the same estimated value. In doing so, HAC is examining what legal steps they could take and whether or not they can sue Integral to protect their own interests, given that the aforementioned Laktaši company has abandoned its offer, putting them in a highly unenviable situation.

From HAC, the decision to select Integral in the tender for the Beli Manastir - Drava Bridge subdivision was made more than four months after the bids actually opened, and it apprently took so long because it was a complex, high value tender, so they had to make sure that the prices offered were technically correct. Therefore, they had previously asked the tenderer for an extension of the validity of the offer and the guarantee, and at that time they all responded to that invitation.

Why Integral did not respond to the second call for these extensions is currently not known to HAC. However, the construction company confirmed for Vecernji list that they definitely did not extend the validity of their bid in the HAC tender for the construction of a subdivision on the 5c corridor. Again, they provided no clear reason as to why.

"We can confirm that Integral engineering, having already extended the validity of its offer once, didn't do so again. In doing so, we were guided by an assessment of the situation and market developments," Integral, the largest construction company in Republika Srpska, told Vecernji list in Republika Srpska.

The company is already present on the Croatian market, is a subcontractor of the Dugo Selo - Križevci railway line, and has competed, among other things, for the construction of access roads to Pelješac bridge in Dalmatia.

It was excluded from that particular tender because of its unusually low price. HAC believes that this procedure, after the cancellation of the tender, will be carried out quickly because the Chinese and the consortium led by Osijek-Koteks will have no legal basis to appeal such a decision, since their bids are above the estimated value of the works anyway. Therefore, they believe that even if they do lodge an appeal, the State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement Procedures will quickly dismiss it, so that a new tender may be launched soon.

On the Croatian part of the 5c corridor, out of a total of 90 kilometres, the country is yet to construct those 17.5 kilometres from the Drava bridge to Beli Manastir, and another five kilometres from Beli Manastir to the Hungarian border, which are still under design. As for the Hungarian part of the 5c corridor, a highway from Budapest to Boly was built there, and another 20 kilometres from Boly to the Croatian border still need to be built.

The Hungarians should build these 20 kilometres by 2023, and by then Croatia should complete its last five kilometres to the Hungarian border. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a highway from Zenica to Tarčin was built on the 5c corridor, as was a junction with Highway 10 near Ploče.

The construction of the motorway around Zenica and the border section from Odžak to the Svilaj bridge on the Sava river are now underway.

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Monday, 19 November 2018

Driving in Croatia: Changes Coming to Croatian Motorways

Driving in Croatia is always a pleasure, especially if you're taking a journey across the country, from the south to the north. Having lived in Dubrovnik for a number of years before moving up north to Zagreb, I can say with confidence that the roadtrip between Dubrovnik and Zagreb is, despite its length, a particularly impressive one, offering you a chance to see the true wealth of natural diversity Croatia boasts in all its glory.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of November, 2018, the changes coming to Croatia's roads have already been implemented in various degrees by other European countries, including Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy.

Boris Huzjan (56) has been the president of the Croatian Motorway's administration (HAC) for a year, and he has the restructuring of two of the largest Croatian road companies under his belt.

In an interview for Jutarnji list, Huzjan spoke about future plans for driving in Croatia and answered the question of whether or not it really is true that the plan is record all cars when they arrive at toll booths, as well as measure their speed, and that the police would potentially punish drivers who, for example, manage to arrive from Zagreb to Dugopolje near Split in less than three hours.

"We're aware that motorways allow drivers to achieve higher speeds than allowed and that this in itself significantly undermines the level of traffic safety. That's why we've decided to support the Ministry of the Interior's (MUP) efforts to control and monitor the speed on the roads in accordance with the National Road Safety Program with one single goal: the increasing of traffic safety. So it's not a repressive measure, but a rescue of human life. These [regulations] have already been implemented in various degrees by Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy...

In the experience of the Netherlands, where the average speed measurement was introduced for the first time back in 2001 on the E19 motorway between Rotterdam and Delft, prove the effect of reducing vehicle speed by 0.5 percent, and the number of deaths was reduced by more than 50 percent.

By introducing continuous automatic speed controls on our highways, traffic safety will be increased, the consequences of traffic accidents will be reduced, the behaviour of drivers will be affected, and this will also reflect the behaviour of drivers on all of the other roads. Speed ​​monitoring will be performed by measuring the average speed of a vehicle at certain sections of the highway, and with radar controls at specific locations, such as locations where there are road works going on, where speeding is the most common cause of traffic accidents.

The speed-controlled locations will be marked with traffic signs that will warn you to look at how fast you're going. We want to do this in a timely manner because we don't intend to use this as a measure to simply punish people. Our goal is to make people aware of speeding, and for this project to be applied to all roads in Croatia. I believe that the most important principle of traffic policy is human life, and that must be ahead of the need for mobility.'' concluded Huzjan.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Contactless Payments Coming to Croatian Road Toll Booths

Contactless payments, more accurate mileage calculations and the ability to pay without needing to stop your vehicle are on the way to Croatia's motorways.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Starting on Monday, Higher Prices on Most Croatian Motorways

The good news is that the new prices will probably be valid just until July. The bad news is that they will then increase even further.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tolls on Croatia’s Motorways to Increase

Transport Minister Butković says that Croatian Motorways public company cannot otherwise repay its debts.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Croatian Motorway Toll Rates to Be Increased

Prices will be increased twice, first at the beginning of the year and then again for the summer tourist season.

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