Thursday, 28 October 2021

Another Peljesac Bridge Construction Site Pops Up as Completion Nears

October the 28th, 2021 - Yet another Peljesac bridge construction site has popped up as the final completion of this massive strategic project draws ever closer and the final touches are dealt with.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after what seems like an eternity of talking and then constructing, the works on Peljesac bridge have entered their final phase. Another very important Peljesac bridge construction site has now popped up and been opened next to the bridge itself - the sewage system from Komarna to Duboka.

''We've done 350 metres of the canal and now we're waiting for the entrance to the construction site next to the bridge itself. From there, we're left to connect across the road and descend towards Duboka,'' Ante Jukic, the construction site manager, told HRT.

''I must point out that we've received a valid permit for the use of this section to Duboka, and all of the preparations are underway to connect it all, ie, to connect those facilities that gravitate along the main pipeline,'' said Smiljan Mustapic, the mayor of nearby Slivno.

The connection of the facility to the system in Klek, Duboka and Komarna should start functioning in March next year, because a secondary network has already been built in the streets located directly by the shoreline.

''We've now got until next summer to solve this problem of our bay and then to continue with further development,'' emphasised Stipan Parmac from Duboka.

''We know that every day there are bigger and bigger capacities in the place itself. There's an increasing influx of tourists and I must say that it is to be commended,'' said Mate Dragobratic from Komarna.

Slovenian tourists, including the mayor of Ljutomer, have also been coming to see Peljesac bridge construction site as works have progressed. The bridge thus provoked a spontaneous meeting between the two municipal leaders.

''It's a good bridge because it was designed by a man from Slovenia. Bravo Croatia for building it,'' said Olga Karba, the mayor of Ljutomer, Slovenia.

''We've exchanged numbers and I hope there might even be a possibility of twinning,'' added Smiljan Mustapic, the mayor of Slivno, in response to the Slovenian mayor's comments on Croatia's largest strategic project which will finally unite the extreme south of Dalmatia with the rest of the country's territory.

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

Monday, 25 October 2021

Finally Putting Peljesac Bridge into Function Becoming More of a Reality

October the 25th, 2021 - There is a lot of talk circulating about the long awaited opening of Peljesac bridge which is, along with its access roads, finally nearing total completion. In order to put it into function, however, one very important factor needs to be satisfied.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, although Peljesac bridge already looks like it is ready for the first cars to drive across it, the final part of the work is still in full swing, and asphalting is what began first.

''Then comes the installation of all of the fences, the installation of internal drainage, the inspection of it all, so, all of that is part of the finalisation stage of the bridge,'' explained Jaroslav Segedin from Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads) for HRT.

Day by day, Peljesac bridge, Croatia's most important strategic project which unites its territory, is getting closer to completion. The Chinese contractor is slowly finishing its work, and now the emphasis is being placed on the access roads for the bridge. The works should be completed by the beginning of summer 2022.

Representatives of the Austrian company Strabag are working on both sides of Peljesac bridge, on a section 10.5 which is kilometres long. Two bridges, two tunnels, and the terrain is very demanding, but the deadlines have all been met so far.

''We're within [the timeline of] our plans, so it's all going well, as we planned with smaller or larger deviations that don't affect so much of the structure. We've been contracted until mid-July next year,'' said Mladen Marjanovic, the project manager for Strabag.

The total section across Peljesac bridge is thirty kilometres long.

''The current dynamics predict that the works on the Prapratno junction would be completed by June 2022. In that way, the proper conditions would be created for traffic to be allowed to run along the 24-kilometre-long section,'' Segedin said.

The last section, the Ston bypass, should be completed by the end of next year.

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

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.

Monday, 20 September 2021

More Than 1000 Workers Currently at Peljesac Bridge and Access Roads

September the 20th, 2021 - Works at the Peljesac bridge site, Croatia's most important stragetic project, are going at full speed as 1000 workers are busy finishing things off and dealing with the access roads.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Peljesac bridge and access road construction site is as busy as ever. More than 1,000 workers are currently employed on this largest construction site in the Republic of Croatia. More precisely, according to Hrvatske ceste (Croatian roads), Peljesac bridge and its access roads are being built by a total of 1,098 workers at this moment in time, and when technical and support staff are added, there will be a total of 1,277 people on the ground on site and in the nearby Mali Ston Bay, as reported by Vecernji list.

On the access roads themselves, (more precisely on the Duboka - Sparagovici section) work was being carried out on the wide excavation of the route all the way to the Kamenica tunnel. Between the Dumanja Jaruga bridges (I and II) and the Debeli brijeg tunnel, work is currently being done on the construction of an external drainage system, and on the Dumanja Jaruga I bridge, the construction of columns as well as the first segment of the span structure on pillar S1 has now been completed.

On the Dumanja Jaruga II bridge, two segments of the span structure were constructed with the help of a cage, and the foundation was concreted on the S1 pillar. At the Zaradeza junction, excavation works are underway for the future Zaradeza traffic control centre, where walls, horizontal and vertical circles are currently being built. In the Debeli Brijeg tunnel (1424 metres in length), which was breached back in December, works on the construction of waterproofing, reprofiling and sub-concrete are continuing. A total of 296 workers are engaged on this section of the access roads, of which 61 are technical staff.

On the Ston bypass and the Sparagovici - Papratno - Doli road section, among other things, all segments have been drawn up on the Prapratno viaduct. Works on the steel structure and AKZ are also now in progress. The excavation of the Polakovica tunnel (1242 metres) has been completed, and a wide full profile excavation is now being carried out. The Supava tunnel (1290 metres) also now breaks through on two sides (and entrance and an exit).

On the Ston bridge (485 metres), reinforced concrete works on the head of the S5 pillar have now been completed. Reinforced concrete works on the construction of the pillar of the S3 pillar are in progress. The reinforced concrete foundation of the S4 staircase has been completed and reinforced concrete works on the construction of the pillar of the S4 staircase are in progress. Works on the head of the pillar of the S2 pillar and reinforced concrete works on the abutments of the Ston U1 and U7 bridges are in progress and the second phase of the wall and wings of the U7 abutment has been completed. A total of 330 workers are engaged in various jobs on the Peljesac bridge construction site, along with 33 members of the technical and administrative staff.

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

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

General Ante Gotovina Has Name Proposal for Peljesac Bridge

August the 3rd, 2021 - Croatian General Ante Gotovina, a hero of the Homeland War, has stepped forward with a name proposal for Peljesac bridge, which has finally and historically connected Croatian and European Union (EU) territory.

Peljesac bridge was a long time coming, and with Chinese workers hard at work constructing it day and night, the bridge has been completed, finalising an enormous strategic Croatian project which has connected the extreme south of Dalmatia with the rest of the country, eliminating the need for a border crossing into neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina (through the coastal town of Neum). 

The move has, as mentioned, also been of strategic importance to the European Union, which provided a huge percentage of money in non-refundable EU funds for the bridge's construction, as Bosnia and Herzegovina's small piece of coastline which broke up Croatian territory, remains a third country.

Potential names for the bridge, which has always been simply known as Peljesac bridge until now, have been flying around, and General Ante Gotovina has his own suggestion.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, General Ante Gotovina was asked what he would say to the Croatian people during the days of pride and glory of the celebration of Operation Storm (Oluja), General Gotovina said:

"As you can see, tradition is something we have to keep close to us. Security and freedom are a necessity every day, for those who care about it. This is found in our National Security System and within our Croatian Armed Forces. And for the rest of it - we need to work and work!

We have managed to bring a lot of strategic projects to fruition, we've met a lot of strategic goals since the end of the Homeland War. Much has been done. One of these is now the connection of the extreme south of Croatia with the rest of Croatia via the already famous Peljesac bridge. As the flag of the City of Dubrovnik says - Libertas! It would be nice to call that bridge Libertas. It represents freedom,'' Gotovina told IKA.

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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Pelješac Bridge Finally Completed!

July 28, 2021 - What always seemed to be an unattainable dream (even in recent years) is now a reality: the Pelješac bridge has been completed tonight and Croatia is one again.

The impossible is no longer so, and as of tonight, the Croatian territory reconnects with Dubrovnik via the Pelješac bridge, and the Neum corridor will no longer be the way to the Pearl of the Adriatic and back. Tonight at 11 pm, the last segment of the steel span structure of the Pelješac Bridge will be installed, which will connect the mainland from Komarna with Brijesta on the Pelješac peninsula. Although the vehicles will not cross the new bridge until June next year, tonight's connection of its construction will be one of the most important dates in the calendar of this, as the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković called it: ''the project of all projects''.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and several of his ministers, present at a celebratory event. (Video:

The project started on several occasions, but for various reasons, it stalled until a contract worth half a billion euros was signed in April 2018, of which the European Union gave as much as 85 percent. The contract entrusts the construction to the Chinese consortium China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), one of the globally largest and most experienced in such works. It was also the first such project of a Chinese company in the European Union.

Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic shared an emotional post on his Facebook account, reflecting on the importance of the project for the Pearl of the Adriatic, and the story behind it. ''After 303 years, the extreme south of Croatia will be connected to the mother country, and we, the inhabitants of this part of Croatia, will cease to be second-class citizens waiting in a column at the border crossing for transit from one part to another. In recent days, many have been trying to direct the historical chronology of the Pelješac Bridge towards one, two, or some third option'', he wrote in his Facebook post. Franković also thanked PM Andrej Plenković, and he ended his post by saying that ''to the questions of what the bridge should be called, the answer is actually simple: the Pelješac Bridge and let it be guarded by St. Blaise and St. Rocco.

Likewise, the publication was accompanied by a video in which the progress of the bridge can be seen until a few days ago. You can see it below:

When talking about the impossible, it is precisely difficult not to go back thirty or twenty years, and remember the times when the project was groped around but without any concrete plan. Even since the project began three years ago, there have been many, many occasions where political tensions and doubts arose not only about its completion but about its development itself.

Now, the Peljesac bridge is a reality after the tireless and titanic efforts made in these three years and not only because of the demand for a bridge of these dimensions but also because of the area and the climatic conditions in which it was built. It is worth mentioning that the completion of the project has occurred in a very early period, and for this it would be necessary to work even at night and at dawn, taking into account the strong winds and storms that hit the area.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Butković: Pelješac Bridge To Be Connected With Last Segment Next Week

ZAGREB, 22 July (2021) - Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković said on Thursday the Pelješac Bridge would be connected with the last steel construction segment next week.

"We are connecting the Pelješac Bridge with the last segment of the steel construction. It will be a big event. It will happen on 28 July," he told the press in Omiš.

After that, the bridge will be completed with access roads, which should be built by the beginning of next year, Butković said.

"All of it will be put into operation early in June next year."

He said the bridge and the access roads would be "the project of all projects."

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Penultimate Peljesac Bridge Segment Now in Place as Works Continue

July the 20th, 2021 - The Peljesac bridge construction is moving along nicely, with this strategic Croatian project which will connect Croatian and European Union territory once and for all nearing its end. The second to last Peljesac bridge segment has now been put into place.

As Morski writes, just a few days ago, the penultimate Peljesac bridge segment was installed. Just another 18.5 metres separate us from the physical connection of the Croatian south with the rest of the country, and that truly historic job should finally be completed in just ten days.

The crossing through Neum, the only piece of coastline neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina has, in order to enter or exit the extreme south of Croatia has posed a problem for many years. Thanks to EU membership and access to European Union funds which funded the project heavily, Croatian territory can finally be connected.

Two synchronised cranes first raised the second to last Peljesac bridge segment to the lower level of the already installed bridge structure, as was reported by HRT. An extremely precise operation then followed.

When a few millimeters were trimmed at the bottom, the cranes restarted, and the 18.5-metre-long and 100-tonne section of the future bridge’s pavement began to rise slightly. It stopped at places where additional cutting was needed, before being mounted into its final position.

Mounting the connecting segment in the middle between the two pillars is a demanding job and is therefore done at night when the steel is most stable.

The hard working Chinese contractors who have been hands on around the clock and the investor, Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) both hope that the weather will be fair on the night of July the 28th into the very early hours of the 29th. At that time, the installation of the final Peljesac bridge segment is currently planned.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 28 June 2021

PM: Four Big Projects Will Be Realised, Reforms Continued in Next 3 Years

ZAGREB, 28 June 2021 - Croatia will realise four big projects in the next three years, the Pelješac Bridge, joining Schengen and the eurozone, and buying fighter jets, and will also use them for the necessary reforms, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday.

Croatia's road to independence was difficult, but the years ahead will not be easier if we don't prepare for the world that is coming, he said at a conference on Croatia's key successes, organised by Hanza Media on the occasion of Croatia's 30 years of independence.

Plenković said the government's ambition was to join the eurozone on 1 January 2023 and that the multipurpose fighter jets would arrive in early 2024.

Health reform framework in the autumn

"Reforms are key" and all that we have now are remnants of past administrations, policies, circumstances, weaknesses as well as daring, he said.

He singled out the judicial reform, resolutely stating that "the judiciary is not the HDZ's."

State administration will be strengthened because it must be more efficient, counties will not be changed but there is room to merge municipalities, which will cut costs, Plenković said.

The privatisation of the state-owned portfolio will continue while advancing corporate management, he said, also underlining the importance of education and health reform.

Healthcare has generated enormous expenses for years, but there is a concept of a solution which should be hammered out in the near future, Plenković said, adding that many laws would be amended in the autumn to make it easier to run the health system.

He said it was necessary to make progress in demography and also highlighted climate change.

"It would have been better had we solved some things faster," he said, but added that with "these three to four steps we will do in the next two and a half years, and (with) the money we ensured for the next ten years, we have indeed created prerequisites for development that we never had."

Vaccination is also an economic issue

Plenković called on citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it was also an economic and financial issue, and that the tourist season could be lost if Croatia was declared unsafe.

He said it was a matter of personal responsibility and warned about the threat of new variants and a fourth wave of coronavirus.

Croatia's road to independence was difficult and demanding

Looking back over the past 30 years, Plenković recalled that Croatia had been a victim of Greater Serbia aggression but that it managed to build an army and defend its freedom.

He said the 1991-95 war claimed many lives and caused big destruction, which cost Croatia 15 years of development because pre-war GDP was restored only in 2004. He said 15% of homes were destroyed, that the war damage amounted to 160% of the pre-war GDP, and that over 150,000 houses were rebuilt after the war.

Plenković said the second decade of Croatia's independence saw the beginning of economic transition and key steps towards the realisation of geostrategic goals, including joining NATO in 2009 and completing EU accession negotiations by the end of 2011.

Those were years of strong GDP growth, but will lots of borrowing, followed by the global crisis which lasted until 2013, when we joined the EU, a historic success, he said.

He added, however, that Croatia started utilising the benefits of EU membership only in 2016 because only 9% of the funds available had been contracted by then, as against 120% now.

Plenković said that between 2012 and 2015 Croatia fell from 61 to 60% of the EU's GDP average, while in the past five years, before COVID-19, GDP per capita was raised to 65%, falling to 64% now.

He said that in the past five years quality of living had improved, with considerably higher wages, pensions, and social and maternity allowances. The average net pay in that period went up by HRK 1,440 to 7,082 this past April, while the minimum net pay went up by HRK 904 to 3,400, he added.

Speaking of employment, Plenković said the number of pension insurees fell by 90,000 between 2009 and 2016, while going up by 134,000 to over 1.5 million in the past five years.

He said the biggest problem of his first term in office, from 2016 to 2020, was saving the Agrokor conglomerate from bankruptcy, adding that the Petrokemija company was restructured and shipyards' debts were settled during that term also.

He recalled that for the first time, Croatia had a budget surplus for three consecutive years. "Before the pandemic, we relieved the corporate sector by more than HRK 11 billion in taxes and administration, the credit rating was raised to investment level."

Strong international position

Plenković said Croatia had a strong international position and that EU funds helped to carry out strategic projects such as the LNG terminal on Krk island.

He said he expected the U.S. to waive visas for Croatian citizens this autumn, also because of the good political and military ties.

He said good relations had been built with China and that China helped Croatia a lot at the start of the pandemic.

Plenković went on to say that Croatia had secured another €25 billion from the EU for the next ten years, and that it was in a more difficult situation than others because of the two strong earthquakes that hit last year.

The COVID crisis has cost us HRK 34 billion, he said, adding that unlike Croatia other countries did not have HRK 128 billion in earthquake damage.

We have ensured HRK 11.1 billion for wages and 700,000 jobs have been retained in the past 15 months, he said.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan was made for green and digital transition, he said, confident that the realisation of the measures contained therein in the next two years would ensure an additional GDP growth of 1.4%.

For more on politics in  Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Peljesac Bridge to Finally Connect Croatian Territory by End of August

June the 20th, 2021 - Peljesac bridge is a strategic project not only for Croatia but for the European Union, as both Croatian territory and the territory of the EU are set to finally be connected, avoiding a border with a third country (Bosnia and Herzegovina) when entering or leaving the extreme south of Dalmatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the situation is very good down at the Peljesac bridge construction site. The final shipment of steel structures arrived at the construction site recently and Croatian territory will finally be connected by the end of August, announced the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic.

According to Butkovic, despite the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we're now "at the peak of the entire project", and after the millennial act of merging Croatian territory, the focus should be placed on preparing the pavement and asphalting, which is still going well.

An insight into the pace of the field work itself shows that the remaining phases of the project, which regards the road connection with southern Dalmatia, are also going well. On the section (for which the contractor is the Austrian Strabag) there have been no delays and the works are expected to be completed in mid-July, while on the other hand in the third and fourth phases of the works (performed by the Greek AVAX) although there were a few delays at the beginning, things have now been caught up with.

As Butkovic pointed out, the works on the tunnels are currenrtly in question, and all of the steel construction for the Prapratno viaduct and the Ston bridge is being completely made in Brodosplit. As early as next week they will head down to the construction site for their installation, so the situation is also more than favourable in that regard, too.

"The most important thing is Croatian territory finally being connected, and how the bridge will be completed by this time next year and we'll be able to put it into operation," the minister stressed.

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