Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Peljesac Bridge Brought a Demographic Boom in the Nearby Municipalities of Ston and Slivno

October 20, 2020 – In addition to changing the landscape of the Neretva coast, the Peljesac Bridge brought a demographic boom in this area, namely in the nearby municipalities of Ston and Slivno.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, statistic data says so, and in this case, the situation is favorable for two municipalities – Ston on Pelješac and Slivno on the Neretva River, which are connected by the Pelješac Bridge.

Unlike other Croatian regions that record a pronounced depopulation trend, especially in the Dalmatian hinterland, Ston and Slivno have an increase in the population of as many as 407 people. This is shown by the report of the Central Bureau of Statistics on estimates and natural population trends in the past year.

However, it cannot be said with certainty that the construction of the bridge directly affects the population growth, but it is certainly interesting that the positive demographic trends coincide with the intensification of work on the Pelješac Bridge. True, hundreds of workers temporarily staying in this area work on the bridge and the surrounding access roads, but it is assumed that they are not covered by these statistics because they do not have a permanent place of residence in the municipalities of Ston and Slivno.


Desirable places

The Mayor of Ston Municipality, Vedran Antunica, is delighted about the news that the number of inhabitants in the municipality of Ston increased by 281 people or 12.5 percent. Namely, in 2018 in the municipality of Ston there were 2246 inhabitants, and now there are 2521, interesting numbers in this part of Pelješac where tourism and shellfish farming, especially oyster farming, are the main economic activities.

"Our municipality provides certain benefits for young families and I am sure that this has also contributed to positive demographic trends," says Mayor Antunica.

For the first child born in a family permanently residing in the municipality, 5,000 kunas is paid from the municipal treasury, 10,000 for the second child, and 20,000 kunas for the third and each subsequent. Mayor Antunica notes that the money is paid at once, not in delays or installments.

"The municipality strives to make life as easy as possible for its residents. That is our main task. We have a kindergarten for children, a nursery, all the facilities as in a big city, and we are a small community. True, Dubrovnik is not far away, so we are a desirable place for living," says Antunica, adding that it is very difficult to buy a house or an apartment in big cities, so young people stay with their grandparents.

Ston and Pelješac will be an even more suitable place for a living once the Pelješac Bridge is built. This will be an additional stimulus to the economic and demographic renewal of this area, the people of Pelješac hope.



The municipality of Ston / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić


Technical increase

Somewhere people emigrate, and somewhere they immigrate. According to statistical indicators, they also move to the municipality of Slivno, the only coastal municipality on the Neretva River. Statistics say that during 2018 and 2019, the population of Slivno increased from 1868 to 2024, 156 people, or 8.35 percent.

The former mayor of Slivno Mate Dragobratović says that the area of ​​Slivno is the most beautiful part of the Neretva valley, so he sees that as the reason for the number of increasing residents who have decided to live on the Neretva coast. Everything is close – Metković, Ploče, Dubrovnik – and such a geographical position attracts many, especially young people.

"People are engaged in agriculture, growing mandarins, and tourism, which is a good combination," says Dragobratović, emphasizing that with the construction of the Pelješac Bridge and the connection of the Neretva and Pelješac, the municipality of Slivno will be even more desirable for young families.

However, Denis Šešelj, a former municipal councilor, and local politician points out that there is no real increase in population but a technical increase in the population of Slivno municipality.

"We have people who are registered in their weekend cottages in the municipality of Slivno, but live in Metković or elsewhere. So they avoid paying taxes. This is best seen when voting in elections. In the municipality of Slivno, the number of inhabitants has been increasing in this way for years. Some companies and crafts are also being opened because taxes and duties are lower," says Šešelj.


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Monday, 12 October 2020

Drama at Pelješac Bridge Access Road Site

October 12, 2020 - Almost without exception, whenever there's a new development going on, someone is going to have objections and feel wronged, and that's exactly what happened today at the site where the Pelješac bridge access road is being built. 

A winemaker from Ston, Miho Rozić, was trying to save his vineyards and olive groves near Ston. today, Slobodna Dalmacija writes. The Ston bypass will become a part of the road system which will make the Pelješac bridge accessible from the South, and Rozić's property is located exactly where it's supposed to pass. So, when the construction machinery arrived today, Rozić was trying to defend his vineyards and not let them take down the walls, vines and olives, but he wasn't able to stop the Greek company Avax's workers. 

His lawyers were trying to convince everyone at the site that the paperwork required for the works is not final yet, and that the olives and the grapes have not been picked yet. The local administration representatives, as well as the representative from Hrvatske ceste (Croatian Roadways) had a different opinion on the matter, and they prevailed today. Rozić claims that the road is going through his vineyards because of the corruption, which includes a concrete plant owned by someone related to a local politician, and that the concrete plant supplies materials to Avax as well. 

Rozić negotiated with the Croatian Roadways previously, and he was asking for almost 4 million kunas for his property and the lost olive and grape harvest, as well as 34 thousand square meters in exchange. The Croatian Roadways haven't accepted that deal and Rozić was given a bit over a million kuna. 

Around twenty Ston residents supported Rozić family today, but nothing helped. In the end, Rozić was taken to the police station, to make a statement about the events of the day.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

B1M Portal: Peljesac Bridge Among Largest Projects Connecting Europe

As Morski writes on the 2nd of October, 2020, the reputable infrastructure-oriented B1M portal has made an overview of the largest infrastructure projects that will contribute to better integration of Europe, and Croatia's long awaited Peljesac bridge which will connect Croatian territory, currently split by a border with neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been ranked among them.

These are projects with respective values which are usually measured in billions of euros - on some, construction has already come a long way, and not some, construction is yet to begin, reports Jutarnji list.

Given the fact that Croatia's infrastructure projects are typically not among the likes of those which go on in richer European countries, it is interesting that the much anticipated Peljesac Bridge has found itself on the B1M portal's list among the huge railway tunnels under the Alps, the road tunnel under the Baltic Sea and the large water canal in France.

Let's have a quick look at what the B1M portal had to say about Croatia's strategic project:

Peljesac Bridge (Republic of Croatia)

The first project mentioned is Croatia's Peljesac Bridge, which, once completed (most likely in two years), will connect the southernmost part of Croatia with the rest of the country, thus bypassing the currently necessary border crossing with Bosnia and Herzegovina in Neum. The bridge will be 2,404 metres long, 23.6 metres wide, and the entire construction project is worth 420 million euros.

The contractor is the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation, while the access roads, which will cover 32 kilometres in total, are being built by the Austrian company Strabag and the Greek company Avax.

For other European mega-projects the B1M portal has included on its list, watch the video below:

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

4000 Tons of Pelješac Bridge Leaves China on One Ship

September 15, 2020 – Construction of the Pelješac bridge continues despite the ongoing pandemic – a monster-sized shipment of bridge segments is currently on its way to Croatia

The Pacific Alert is 160 metres long and 27 metres wide. She set sail from Nantong, China on 10th September. Her cargo? 4000 tons of the Pelješac bridge.

We say 4000 tons, but, that's a slight exaggeration. The actual weight of the Pelješac bridge pieces she carries is more accurately 3,840 tons. The 13 pieces are heavy construction elements for the bridge and are expected to arrive in Croatian waters on 5th October.

This is the second such heavily loaded ship to set sail for Croatia carrying the Pelješac bridge parts, which have been constructed in China. The first ship with Peljesac bridge segments arrived in February this year, but production in China was thereafter halted due to coronavirus. The recent arrival of 100 Chinese welders who will connect the Peljesac bridge segments, and the resuming of production in China, indicate that the project is back on track despite the ongoing pandemic.

The Peljesac bridge will connect south Dalmatia to the rest of Croatia and will negate crossing the time-consuming Bosnian border to reach Dubrovnik. This will improve southern Croatia's accessibility to road users. The region of Dubrovnik and Neretva has in 2020 suffered worst from a fall in visitor numbers because it is mostly reliant on charter flights and large cruise ships. The activities of airlines and such ships has been curtailed by coronavirus.

The Pacific Alert is a general cargo ship that was built in 2010 and is sailing under the flag of Cyprus.

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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Peljesac Bridge: Way for Chinese Workers to Arrive Found

The coronavirus pandemic has caused issues in every way imaginable, and the long awaited Peljesac Bridge has been far from immune to the spanners thrown in the works by the virus. 

July the 25th, 2020 - The Peljesac Brisge construction site is dominated by Chinese workers, or perhaps it is better to say that that was the case before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world and changed our behaviour to such an extreme degree. The CRBC, which is no less than a Chinese company, is responsible for the carrying out of the works, and with the transport sector hit hard, issues have been abundant. It seems now, however, that a solution has been found...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of July, 2020, the Chinese contractor on the Peljesac Bridge, China Bridge and Road Corporation (CRBC), has finally found a way to bring over the Chinese workers which are necessary for the assembly of the steel span structure of the bridge from China to the construction site in Dalmatia.

As the aforementioned company confirmed to Večernji list recently, they have arranged a charter flight from China with an airline, which will bring its workers, including all of the welders needed to enlarge the segments of the span assembly, directly to Croatia. The Croatian representative office of CRBC says that they plan to bring about 150 workers in this summer, of which 100 are welders.

''The preparation of the charter flight is going smoothly and it is predicted that it will land in Croatia at the end of July,'' CRBC reports.

As has since been learned from Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste), that flight was planned for Monday, July the 27th. The Chinese contractor company says that given the type of aircraft their workers will come with, as well as the location of the construction site, the aircraft from China will need to land at Dubrovnik Airport (Cilipi).

However, it isn't all roses. Given the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is still raging globally, the arriving Chinese workers will not be able to simply go to the Peljesav Bridge construction site immediately, as they will first have to go into self-isolation. Thus, the CRBC says, these 150 Chinese workers, after arriving in Croatia, will be accommodated in a hotel that they have booked to carry out their fourteen days of self-isolation.

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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Peljesac Bridge Facing Coronavirus Related Issues Yet Again

July the 15th, 2020 - Peljesac bridge, a huge project of strategic importance to both Croatia and the European Union, hasn't remained immune to the troubles caused by the ongoing pandemic...

Coronavirus has done more damage to the global economy than anyone could have ever expected back at the very beginning of this year when pieces of information about a strange new virus began trickling out of the notoriously secretive China. Since then, the virus has taken the world and its economy by storm, seeing tourism grind to a halt and wreaking havoc with health systems across the globe.

Peljesac bridge, being constructed by a Chinese company, much to the dismay of the European Commission, has been experiencing numerous issues as a result of the difficulties caused by the spread of the new coronavirus.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, if welders from China don't manage to arrive at the construction site of the long-awaited Peljesac bridge soon, together with a new contingent of 47 steel blocks, the bridge will not be completed in about a year, when it should have been, Slobodna Dalmacija reports.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the investor, Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) and the contractor, the Chinese state company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), left the possibility of extending the set deadline for completion (July the 31st, 2021) open for a few more months, but if the arrival of the steel blocks from Chinese steel ends up being prolonged, the opening of the bridge itself might only be able to occur at the beginning of 2022.

The Chinese have negotiated with the Croatian company "Brodosplit" to give them their welders, but so far, nothing has come of it.

Those more familiar with this issue claim that the Chinese eventually want to bring their welders over from China because they believe that their business reputation would be damaged if they introduced a company from Croatia to such an important business. This would of course mean that they'd be unable to build Peljesac bridge on their own, which, according to CRBC, would damage their business reputation.

The issue regards about five hundred Chinese welders. So far, seven of the twelve pillars and two abutments on the Neretva and Peljesac sides have been built.

For more on Peljesac bridge, follow our business section.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Cameras Placed at Peljesac Bridge Construction Site, Watch Here!

Ever wondered just how the works on the long awaited Peljesac bridge are actually progressing? This huge structure is a strategic project for not only Croatia but for the EU, as it will finally connect this European Union territory, removing the need for a border crossing through Bosnia and Herzegovina when travelling between the extreme south of Dalmatia and the rest of the country.

The removal of the need to quickly cross into and then out of a non-EU country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, carries an enormous amount of weight for both Croatia and the EU as a whole, and despite issues raised by various Bosnian politicians and the standstill caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Peljesac bridge continues to rise.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of July, 2020, a total of eleven cameras were installed on five construction sites.

If you're wondering about the progression of the works on Peljesac bridge and you don't live close to it to be able to take a look for yourself, you can now watch via a web platform. Peljesac bridge's construction site can now be seen not only from any part of Croatia, but also from any part of the world via the web platform connectedcroatia.eu/povezanahrvatska.eu.

Namely, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure launched this page to inform the public about the progress of contracted projects co-financed by EU funds, and the aforementioned cameras were installed at the most important areas of the construction site to monitor the daily progress and the current status of work on them.

In addition, new photos are published every day, writes Večernji list.

A total of eleven cameras were installed at five construction sites. The construction of Peljesac bridge itself is covered by two cameras, one from the mainland, the other from the peninsula, and the same number are placed on the access roads.

Three cameras have been installed on the railway construction site from Dugo Selo to Krizevci, and two cameras have been placed on the reconstruction of the Brajdica railway station. The ferry port of Tkon and the western part of the port of Cres are both filmed by one camera.

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Monday, 15 June 2020

200 Brodosplit Employees to Construct Part of Peljesac Bridge

As Morski writes on the 14th of June, 2020, Brodosplit has made a contract with the Greek company Avax for the construction of a steel structure for the Ston bridge and the Prapratno viaduct, facilities on the Ston bypass route, which is part of the project of connecting the extreme south of Croatia and the access roads to the long awaited Peljesac Bridge.

This is the first big job for one of the Croatian companies in the entire road connection project of the south of Croatia with the rest of the country, a project worth three billion kuna. The value of the contract with Avax hasn't yet been disclosed by Brodosplit, but a large number of its employees, as many of 200 of them, will be engaged in doing that job, according to a report from Vecernji list.

Thus, the Split-based company stated that in addition to the construction of the steel structure for the Ston bridge and the Prapratno viaduct, they also contracted transport to the construction site, installation, joining and anti-corrosion protection.

The works that will be undertaken by Brodosplit employees involves a massive 2580 tonnes of steel construction, and as stated, around 200 workers from the aforementioned shipyard will be engaged in that work - they say from Brodosplit. Avax will construct the Ston bypass, ie the sub-sections Sparagovici - Prapratno and Prapratno - Doli, with a total length of eighteen kilometres, and the contracted value of the works stands at an enormous 511.5 million kuna (excluding VAT).

The construction of the Ston bridge will be a very demanding construction project because there will be tunnels on both sides of the bridge. The Ston bridge will be 485 metres long, on one side there will be the Polakovica tunnel, which is 1242 metres long, and on the other side, the Supava tunnel, which is 1290 metres long. The Prapratno viaduct, at the ninth kilometre of this particular section, will be 223 metres long. Avax was introduced to the construction of the Sparagovici - Doli section back in early December last year, but serious work hasn't yet begun, partly due to the coronavirus crisis.

From Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste), however, they expect that these works will be completed within the previously agreed period of 28 months. In addition to the work on the access roads, Brodosplit could also get another ''slice of the cake'' in terms of being engaged in the works on Peljecac Bridge, and this is something that is currently being negotiated with the Chinese contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

Namely, due to the coronavirus crisis, specialised workers, such as welders and fitters of the steel load-bearing structure of the bridge - can't come to Peljesac Bridge's construction site from China. The first 29 of a total of 165 steel structure segments from China arrived at the construction site back in late February this year. There has been no desire expressed by Brodosplit in terms of wanting to talk about putting their welders to work on Peljesac Bridge as there have been no negotiations with the CRBC on the matter yet.

"Given that negotiations on our engagement and cooperation are still ongoing, it wouldn't be in accordance with good business practice to go public with the details of those negotiations," a statement from Brodosplit said. The CRBC said that currently, Chinese welders, are already working on the construction site.

"Now we're trying in all possible ways to get various workers to the construction site from China as soon as possible" they claimed from the CRBC, adding that they will perform all the work in accordance with the contract.

However, they noted that, given the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had and continues to have on the project, they, as the contractor, together with the client and the supervising engineers, will assess this impact and try to find a solution.

To briefly recall, the CRBC contracted the construction of Peljesac Bridge for an enormous price tag of 2.08 billion kuna, and it should be completed by July the 31st, 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese announced a possible delay in terms of those deadlines, but they failed to state just how long it could be instead.

Croatian roads still believe that it's still possible for the bridge to be completed within the agreed deadline. Works on the second part of the access roads are being performed by Strabag. These works worth 478.3 million kuna (excluding VAT) should be completed within 33 months from the date of the introduction of the contractor to the works, and that took place back in mid-November last year.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Peljesac Bridge Construction Deadline Could be Extended by Several Months

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen economic difficulties ensue, with imports and exports being heavily affected in some sectors, much like disruption we're seeing in the transport and travel industry. Peljesac Bridge, a strategic project for Croatia and among the most significant since the nation gained its independence back in the 1990s, isn't immune to the complications the epidemic has caused.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of May, 2020, at Peljesac Bridge's construction site down in Dalmatia, the first element of the span structure was lifted by a crane and placed on the bridge's S5 pillar. On the other pillars, elements of the bridge's steel structure have now been placed, which will act as a support for the installation of the elements of the span structure, 29 elements of which are already on the construction site of the long awaited bridge.

The ''base segment'' of the pavement structure of the future Peljesac Bridge from the shore might seem small at first sight, but it is actually ten metres long and 23.5 metres wide. Despite weighing an enormous 250 tonnes, a one thousand-tonne crane lifted it to a 40-metre-high pillar in a matter of mere minutes.

The first two base segments of the pavement structure have now been placed on the third pillar from the end. The next base segments will be placed on two central pillars. Since there is a navigable corridor between them, they are 55 metres high, and the supporting scaffolding that will temporarily keep the structures standing at that height is increasing in size every day, according to a report from HRT.

The bridge itself should be completed by July the 31st next year, but given the issues that have arisen as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, factories in China have not been in operation for some time. Therefore, this deadline being extended by several months remains a possibility.

For more information on Peljesac Bridge and other construction projects in Croatia, follow our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Connecting Croatia to Dubrovnik: Sunset at the Peljesac Bridge

May 23, 2020 - Coronavirus may have slowed down the global economy, but one project in Croatia is moving ahead at speed - sunset at the Peljesac Bridge. 

The economy may be much slower globally due to COVID-19, but some things are moving along apace, including a major infrastructure project the two parts of Croatia, which are currently physically separated by the 23-kilometre Neum Corridor, the coastal stretch of Bosnia and Hercegovina which gave BiH access to the sea as part of the Dayton Agreement, which brought an end to the war in the 1990s. 

After many years of political promises, construction of the bridge began. And having begun, work has moved on briskly. Once completed, the bridge will connect the mainland to the Pejlesac peninsula just before the Bosnian border, thereby connecting Croatia's two parts for the first time. 

Currently, the only option to get from Dubrovnik to the rest of Croatia without crossing the border is to take the ferry from Trpanj on the peninsula to Ploce. 

According to a project insider, works are progressing well, and things are currently on schedule for the bridge and all access roads to be completed by January, 2022.

In the meantime, enjoy the view!

You can follow the latest on the Peljesac Bridge in the dedicated TCN section

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