Friday, 29 July 2022

PM Satisfied with Pace of Construction of Učka Tunnel's Second Tube

ZAGREB, 29 July 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković visited the construction site for the second tube of Učka Tunnel on Friday, voicing his satisfaction with the progress in the drilling of this segment of the 5.6-kilometer-long tunnel necessary to complete the dual carriageway of the Istrian Y motorway.

The construction of the second tube is worth €200 million.

Plenković highlighted the importance of this motorway for connectivity between Istria and Zagreb and for the local tourist industry.

The Bina Istra company's CEO Dario Silić said that to date 2.4 kilometres of the second tube had been drilled.

So far 1.3 kilometres of the tunnel have been drilled from the Istria side and an additional 1.1 kilometres from the Kvarner side.

The drilling of the tube is to be completed by September 2023, and the whole project is expected to be finalised in June 2024. 

Plenković was also pleased with the fact that a majority of the 500 workers on the construction site are from Croatian companies.

Plenković continued his day-long visit to Istria, accompanied by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković, Economy Minister Davor Filipović, and Health Minister Vili Beroš.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Oleg Butkovic: 200 Million Euro Investment for Istrian Y, Ucka Tunnel

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of August, 2020, The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, said on Saturday that the extension of the Bina-Istra concession (which will go on until 2039) implies an investment of 197 million euros and that the full profile of the Istrian Y should be completed by the time the next Croatian tourist season rolls around.

He also noted that the second pipe of the Ucka tunnel and the full profile of the highway should be completed by the year 2024.

"Yesterday we received news that the European Commission (EC) has approved the plan for the Republic of Croatia to extend the Bina-Istra concession until the year 2039, which includes an investment worth 197 million euros, this involves the second pipe of the Ucka tunnel and the full profile of the Kvarner highway, which is in Primorje-Gorski Kotar county,'' stated the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure.

''The contract for that will be extended until the year 2039, although we believe that the loans will be repaid earlier and that we'll repay the investment by the year 2037, after which everything will become the property of the Republic of Croatia, the entire Istrian Y, including the two pipes of the Ucka tunnel,'' Oleg Butkovic said.

The Minister noted that the full profile of the Istrian Y to the Ucka tunnel is being built, that it will be finished by the beginning of the time 2021's tourist season arrives, and that the second pipe of the Ucka tunnel and the full profile of the motorway should be finished by the end of 2023.

"It is a continuation of construction and investment in large infrastructure projects, with a special emphasis placed on transport in Croatia," noted Minister Oleg Butkovic, emphasising that around 25 billion kuna is now being invested.

For more on investments in Croatia, follow our business section.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Ucka Unsafe? Red Light for Croatian Tunnel as Germans Test Them Out

August the 9th, 2020 - Many foreigners are quick to compliment the mostly excellent Croatian roads and motorways, but just how good are the tunnels? The Germans tested several, and while a couple got the green light, one heavily used Croatian tunnel didn't do quite so well...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of August, 2020, a study by the ADAC, a well known German car club, published an assessment of the safety of some European tunnels, and one Croatian tunnel unfortunately got a red mark next to it. The Ucka Tunnel was the one to receive the unflattering German review via an assessment according to which it doesn't meet the proper safety standards.

The ADAC has investigated the safety of sixteen Austrian, Italian and Croatian tunnels, mostly those through which most German tourists go when driving to their holiday destinations in the aforementioned countries. Of the Croatian tunnels, Konjsko, located on the A1 road, as well as Sveta Tri Kralja on the A2 section, were also explored and they each received a green mark, which means that they meet all of the necessary safety requirements, and it was stated that everything was fine with them, according to a report from Vecernji list.

All of the Italian tunnels received a red mark, while all of the Austrian tunnels received green marks. As for the Croatian tunnel ''in the red'', the Ucka Tunnel, the disadvantage is that it has only one pipe. A big complaint is that there are no emergency exits in this particular Croatian tunnel, nor are there any speakers or external entrances for rescuers. It has been noted that it is confusing for drivers that the number of lanes in front of and within the tunnel itself is not the same, and it has been deemed that all this reduces the general level of safety while driving through the tunnel.

Of the sixteen European tunnels inspected, more than half have failed to meet the minimum standards set by the European Union. While Austria has adequately restored its tunnels, the Italian tunnels give the impression of insecurity according to the car club.

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