Monday, 29 April 2019

A Bear Seen on Pelješac for the First Time!

People of Pelješac are hospitable folk, used to wanting to give their best to their guests. But, there are some guests they are not really used to, and a bear on Pelješac is one of those!

The "visited" beehives (actually ruined) were the first sign that an unexpected beast has made his or her way to Pelješac. Near Putniković, Toni Rusković told HRT reporters that he has seven beehives on Wednesday, and on Saturday all of them have been broken into and ruined. Ivo Đuračić from the Hunting Association of Kuna says that the bear has probably spent the whole sweet night by the hives, getting almost all of the honey out of them.

Wild boars and European mouflons are often seen on Pelješac, and the population of jackals is very stable and they can often be seen and heard, but a bear is something that no-one remembers seeing on Pelješac before. Although, hunters add that it could spend a lot of time in a specific location without being noticed, as it avoids humans and their dwellings, and there's plenty of food around for him/her. If only it weren't for that sweet seductive honey, which gave him away.

A couple of days after the incident in Putniković, (s)he was recorded by a hunter's camera just a couple of kilometres away. Some people claim that it's a mama bear with her cubs, although, having done my research, I'm not quite sure how that story got started. And a few more days after that, another beehive incident occurred in Brijesta - which is not surprising, because bears do have a large area where they like to roam around.

The hunters have written to the people in charge of the Agriculture Ministry, waiting for their instructions on what to do with the bear. Hopefully, it will be peacefully moved to a more bear-acquainted part of Croatia, although one would really love the bear to have the chance to taste some of those amazing Pelješac grapes and figs, which will be perfect for consumption sometime in late August. It's not certain how the bear got to Pelješac, although it's possible it just swam over. After all, the bridge isn't finished yet, and will probably never be really bear-friendly! 

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Second Biospeleological Expedition Begins on Pelješac Peninsula

Pelješac is home to much more than just stunning views, golden sunsets and incredible wine, as if that wasn't enough. Home to a wide array of wildlife and many caves, this rugged peninsula in southern Dalmatia is as interesting academically as it is beautiful on the surface, and 2019 brings with it yet another biospeleological expedition of the area.

As Morski writes on the 19th of April, 2019, field research across the entire Pelješac peninsula was conducted at the end of 2018, in close cooperation with the public institution for the management of protected areas of nature of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Croatian Biospeleology Society and the Breganja Association. The announcement of the beginning of the second such biospeleological expedition - Pelješac 2019, has arrived, which has been being held since the 19th of April 2019 and will continue until May the 1st, 2019.

In the scope of the Pelješac expedition this year, the plans are to explore this rocky area's numerous caves and pits located along different parts of the peninsula and to obtain more detailed information on the distribution of certain groups and species living underground and within said caves. The expedition is likely to gather more than sixty researchers from around the entire region, meaning it will take on a much more international character, and will include the exploration of speleological ocations across the whole of the Pelješac peninsula.

The goals of the expedition include the detailed sampling and photographing the cave fauna as well as topography and the further exploration of newly found pits and caves.

On the two terrains that preceded the main expedition, the emphasis was placed on finding caves and pits known only in literature and by Pelješac's local population. Over twenty caves and pits of various sizes and in numerous locations were explored during the last such expedition, caves suitable for exploration to seek out any animal species living there were recorded, cave fauna was collected, and entry and exit coordinates were noted.

During this expedition, over 100 hundred known caves across the Pelješac peninsula will be explored.

Stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Deadline Extensions, Appeals and Problems for Pelješac Bridge Access Roads

The Pelješac Bridge saga continues, and deadlines for various parts of the job, be it on the bridge itself or on its required access roads, rather unsurprisingly see more and more extensions...

As Josip Bohutinski/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of March, 2019, the State Commission for the control of public procurement procedures (DKOM) has dismissed an appeal lodged by Varaždin's Colas to modify the tender documentation for the construction of Ston's bypass of Sparagovići - Papratno and Papratno - Doli.

As Večernji list reports, Colas actually only lodged an appeal one day before the expiry of the bidding deadline on February the 14th, 2019. DKOM assessed this appeal, deemed it to be unfair and subsequently rejected it. The tender for the construction of the Ston bypass road was announced on December the 3rd, 2018, with the deadline for the submission of bids for the job set for the 21st of January this year.

Due to the requirements of potential contractors requesting explanations of the tender documentation, the bidding deadline has been extended several times. The estimated value of the works for the construction of the Ston bypass road is 449.1 million kuna, and according to the tender documentation, the chosen contractor will have a deadline for completing the works, which is currently 30 months from the date of introduction to the job.

While Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) can be satisfied with DKOM's decision on the (very late in the day) Colas appeal for this part of Pelješac Bridge's access road, when it comes to the second part of the Pelješac Bridge access road, the Duboka-Sparagovići section, the commission's decision will have to be waited on once again. Namely, the decision for this access sectiont to be built by the Greek company J&P Avax has received an appeal from Aktor SA, another Greek company that participated in the tender, as well as Austria's Strabag. J&P Avax offered 464.9 million kuna without VAT to build the Duboka - Sparagovići road section. The estimated value of these works currently stands at 482 million kuna. Offers for these works were officially opened in June last year.

In addition to J&P Avax, the job of constructing twelve kilometres' worth of this section was desired by six other companies and consortia. In the selection decision, it was stated that J&P Avax's bid was, according to the selection criterion, rated the most economically advantageous. The Aktor SA offered 464.6 million kuna, and Austria's Strabag offered 478.3 million kuna. The lowest bid was offered by Integral engineering from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina - 321.2 million kuna, but that was rejected for its unusually low price tag. Colas, the company to lodge an appeal, also had its offer of 52.5 million kuna rejected, and the China Road and Bridge Corporation were also rebuffed with their offer of 647.8 million kuna, because these offers exceed the estimated value of the works, and the Chinese didn't extend the validity of their offer. Offers were also submitted by the GP Krk association and Euro-asfalt from Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a 444.3 million kuna price tag.

The scheduled deadline for construction of the Duboka - Sparagovići road section currently stands at 33 months from the date of the contractor's introduction to the job. Given the fact that in such proceedings, DKOM requires two months to decide on an appeal, the beginning of construction of this section can likely be expected to begin sometime during the middle of this year and not before.

The bid for equipping and supplying the Duboka - Sparagovići section came to an end in February with three offers. The estimated value of these works stands at 38.2 million kuna, and all three bids received are well above this amount. Valard offered 52.9 million kuna, Dalekovod offered 57.3 million kuna, and Elektrocentar Petek offered a handsome 59.5 million kuna. Croatian roads have stated however that they will cancel this bid and announce a new one in which everything needed for the Duboka - Sparagovići section and the Ston bypass will be unified.

Croatian roads have also pointed out that the deadline for completing the entire Pelješac bridge project, meaning the bridge's actual construction and the construction of its access roads, is now January the 31st, 2022.

Make sure to follow our dedicated news and business pages for more information on the construction of Pelješac Bridge and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Josip Bohutinski/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Dubrovnik Highway: Talk of 800 Million Euro Project Reignited

After a decade of silence and complete inactivity, the Croatian Government is moving once again towards the temptation of a highway construction project towards Dubrovnik, a move initially started by former PM Ivo Sanader.

As Kresimir Zabec/Novac writes on the 2nd of February, 2019, after a rather unnecessarily lengthy and of course unclear title, the conclusion of the ''study documentation for the road connection of southern Dalmatia to the motorway network system of the Republic of Croatia from the Metković junction to the future Pelješac bridge and from the Doli junction to the City of Dubrovnik'' (yes you can take a breath now), which was adopted during Friday's Government session held in Dubrovnik, has actually led back to the beginning of re-activating the old plan to build a highway to Dubrovnik.

The last time constructing a highway to Dubrovnik was mentioned was way back in 2009, ten whole years ago, when a construction contract worth 3.675 billion kuna was signed in Osojnik in the presence of the controversial former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, an amount which didn't include the VAT for the planned Doli - Dubrovnik section. Although the contracts were indeed signed, the money for this project was never secured, therefore the works never started and all in all, time went by and people simply forgot about it for the most part.

Although there are permits, projects and designs from that time that still exist and could be acceptable today, Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) will spend 4.06 million kuna this year to take a better look at the southern Dalmatian transport system in the area of ​​Dubrovnik-Neretva County and its link with the existing highway network, and determine the feasibility of any highway construction from the existing Metković junction to the future Pelješac bridge, and then from Doli to the City of Dubrovnik. They'll also rule whether or not it is simply better to use the highway through neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

EU co-financing

Croatia's Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, has already jumped the gun when it comes to the talks held on Friday, stating that the Ploče - Dubrovnik motorway will be built, but the question is when. He is counting on the EU being prepared to co-finance the project in the next operational period. However, some insist that a study is needed because the road image itself has changed over the past ten years, not only in southern Croatia, but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The motorway was built behind Ploče and the where the future Pelješac bridge will be, in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, the construction of part of the Vc corridor from Počitelj to the border with Montenegro through Popovo polje has also begun.

Compared to ten years ago, the highway would now be changed somewhat. Back then, the route went from Ploče to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina at Neum and then continued on the other side down south to Dubrovnik.

It was estimated that eighty kilometres of highway from Ploče to Dubrovnik could cost around 732 million euros.

Today, it is assumed that the direction would go from the current Karamatići junction to the Pelješac junction, from where traffic will go down to Pelješac bridge. That equals approximately twenty kilometres of brand new highway sections. The traffic would continue along the new Pelješac road to the Doli junction, and from there 29.6 kilometers of highway would be built leading down to Dubrovnik.

According to the old 2009 project, a total of thirty objects needed to be built, of which there were ten viaducts, nine tunnels, and eight underpasses. Back then, the price of one kilometre of construction was 16.5 million euros without VAT, equalling a total of almost half a billion euros without VAT. The price of the construction of the highway from Karamatići to Pelješac is as yet unknown, but this section is also a very demanding part of the project as the route passes through the Neretva valley, so a high level of environmental protection will be required. Owing to all of the above, estimates are that the entire highway from Ploče down to Dubrovnik could stand at a massive 800 million euros.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle and politics pages. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interest in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Kresimir Zabec for Novac.jutarnji.hr

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Pelješac Bridge Under Construction as Access Roads Lag Behind

The Chinese need to have Pelješac bridge completed in just over thirty months time (by July 2021), but what of the actual access roads leading to it? That appears to be quite another story, and rather unsurprisingly - a long and potentially complicated one.

As Josip Bohutinski/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of January, 2019, the first signs of life of the construction of Pelješac bridge site began today.

The Chinese consortium led by the China Road and Bridge Corporation signed up for this demanding job more than five months ago, and according to the contract, Pelješac bridge has to be built within 36 months, meaning that this strategic Croatian project should theoretically be completed in the summer of 2021. While works on Pelješac bridge itself have finally begun, albeit slowly, the works on the bridge's obviously required access roads are not even close to their beginning. So far, no contractor has even been chosen to build these roads, and Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste) has now launched two tenders for the eventual construction of the bridge's access roads.

In regard to the first part, more specifically the Duboka-Sparagovići section of the road, offers will begin being taken in the middle of June, but the decision on the contractor has not yet been made, although it has been stated in the related documentation that this decision will be made within 120 days from the day of the opening of the actual bid. It has also been stated that the chosen contractor will be required to build their section of the road within 33 months following their initial introduction to the job. Whether or not Pelješac bridge and its access roads will be completed at the same time is already questionable.

Problems can be foreseen, or better to say predicted for argument's sake, that if one takes into account the simple fact that once the contractor is finally selected, other bidders have the right to appeal, and the resolution of these procedures in such bids typically last anywhere up to three months. If Croatian roads decided on the contractor soon, that contractor would still not actually have anything to do with getting any of their work done until the middle of the year. Seven offers have come in so far, the lowest of which was sent by Integral engineering from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, ironically a country which has shown the least support for the construction of Pelješac bridge.

Back at the beginning of December 2018, a public tender for the construction of the second part of Pelješac bridge's access roads was published, and the currently estimated value of these works stands at a massive 449.1 million kuna. The deadline for bids for the second part of the road is January the 21st, 2019. The selected contractor will have a 30-month deadline for the construction of the 18 kilometre road to be put into operation, but once again, appeals are expected to follow any final decision, which translates to more waiting around, and more wasted time.

Make sure to stay up to date with the ongoing Pelješac bridge saga by following our dedicated lifestyle and politics pages.

 

Click here for the original article by Josip Bohutinski/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 26 October 2018

''Secrets of Ston's Underworld'' Speleological Research Begins on Pelješac

What secrets does the Municipality of Ston hide underground?

Monday, 8 October 2018

Consequences of Pelješac Fire: Rocks and Mud Hit Roads

First fires raged through Peljesac, now the rain is causing issues.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Horrible Pelješac Fire as Seen from Korčula

This summer season seemed to have been free of major wildfires in Croatia. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Dramatic Wildfire on Pelješac, Citizens and Tourists Evacuated (VIDEO)

This might be the worst wildfire in Croatia this year.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

New Ultra Luxury Hotel Opens in Orebić

The new hotel is one of the most luxurious ones in Croatia, with rates of up to 21,000 euro a night.

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