Bridge Peljesac – Croatian Mainland summary
Good article about Peljesac Bridge was published at B92 site:
The Croatian government has confirmed plans to build a bridge linking the peninsula of Pelje?ac to the mainland.
The two areas, both part of Croatia, are separated by a small coastal strip that belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Although the plan initially was opposed by Sarajevo, an agreement has now been reached on a key point of contention, defusing a potentially serious dispute between the former Yugoslav republics.
“The government of Croatia has forwarded to the Bosnian authorities an acceptable proposal for the construction of the Pelje?ac-mainland bridge,” Bosnian Transport and Communications Minister Bozo Ljubi?i? said.
Officials in Bosnia had been worried that the bridge — originally planned to be only 35 meters high — would block their country’s exit to the Adriatic, impeding access to the port of Neum and making maritime traffic impossible. Since then, the bridge dimensions have been changed.
Furthermore, Croatia says it will offer Bosnia”most privileged state” status at the port of Plo?e, located further north on the Adriatic coast.
“Bosnian companies are the best clients of that Croatian port,” Prime Minister Ivo Sanader noted.
He said the Croatian side understood Bosnia?s concerns and was doing its best to accommodate them.
“We do respect our friend and neighbor Bosnia and Herzegovina, but we also have to respect the right of Croatia to connect our two territories with a bridge,” the prime minister said.
Even if maritime traffic is protected, however, the bridge will have other economic implications for Neum. Coastal road traffic currently passes through the 35km-long strip of Bosnian territory, and many tourists stop there for food and shopping. This will change once the project is complete.
On the other hand, the current road is frequently jammed during summer months, and the border crossing is an annoyance to many travelers.
The Pelje?ac bridge will be the largest in the Western Balkans. Under the current plans, it will be 2,300m long, 150m wide and 55m high. It will cost more than 220m euros to build, and construction is expected to last four years.
It is not yet known whether the bridge will form part of the extension of the A1 highway, currently connecting Zagreb with Split.
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