17:38 / 26.07.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

EC welcomes the opening of the Pelješac Bridge, one of the largest EU projects in history

The Pelješac Bridge

The Pelješac Bridge

Foto: Igor Kralj / PIXSELL

The European Commission welcomes the official opening of one of the largest projects in the EU and the largest in Croatia, which was financed by the Union, announced the EC.

The bridge was financed with funds from the cohesion policy, and the EU participated in the project with 357 million euros, recalls the press release. In June 2017, based on a feasibility study, the Commission approved funds for its construction.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira stated that the Pelješac Bridge will accelerate economic development and strengthen the territorial cohesion of southern Dalmatia and Croatia as a whole.

“The project is extremely important for Croatia, but also for the European Union. This bridge is a symbol of European solidarity and an indicator of financial and political support for Croatia. I am convinced that it will significantly improve the everyday life of citizens and be an important component of Croatia's development,” she pointed out.

The Vice-president of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica congratulated Croatia on a huge job and said that building bridges, that is, connecting regions and people, is one of the main tasks of the EU.

“We build metaphorical bridges every day, and today we are adding to them an impressive real bridge, physical connections that have the same goal: bringing people together and strengthening the European Union and its member states,” she pointed out.

A new bridge across the Adriatic Sea in the Bay of Mali Ston connects Dubrovnik-Neretva County with the rest of Croatia. By shortening the travel time between Dubrovnik and Split, the bridge will greatly facilitate the daily life of Croatian citizens, as well as residents of neighboring areas. Unhindered flow of people and goods means easier access to public services, for example healthcare, but also commercial services in numerous sub-regional centers. Tourism and trade will greatly benefit from better connectivity, and the territorial cohesion of southern Dalmatia and the rest of the country will be strengthened, according to the press release.

The Pelješac Bridge has four lanes, it is 2.4 km long, and 55 m high, which allows the unhindered passage of ships under it. The EU also finances bridge-related infrastructure, such as access roads, tunnels, bridges and viaducts. This includes the construction of the 8 km long Ston bypass and the reconstruction of the existing D414 road.

The bridge and parts of the access roads are in operation as of today, and it is expected that the last phase of the project and the Ston bypass will be completed by the end of 2023.

Source: HRT

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