Over the past few years, the largest investment cycle in transport infrastructure, worth around 25 billion kuna (€3.3 billion), has been going on, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said on Monday at the 9th Convention of the Via Vita Croatian Roads Association.
At the opening of the convention in Pula, Butkovic said that the investments are for the most part secured from EU funds, but also through concession models, as is the case of the Istrian Y-motorway and the second tunnel tube through Mt Ucka.
The minister singled out the construction of the Peljesac Bridge as the greatest achievement.
17.5 kilometres of motorway to Beli Manastir to be inaugurated soon
He announced the opening of 17.5 kilometres of the motorway to Beli Manastir in early December which runs along the Croatian section of pan-European 5C Corridor. A tender will be advertised for the remaining few kilometres and that should be constructed by the end of 2024.
“An 11-kilometre section of the motorway from Zagreb to Sisak is also under construction and there is also the D-403 state road in Rijeka. We predict that after the completion of the D-403 road and the railway infrastructure, in a few years that traffic at the port of Rijeka will be higher than that of the Koper port (Slovenia),” he said.
Butkovicsaid he considers investments in state roads to be important too and underscored the Pozega connection to the motorway, the Ilok road network, the end of the expressway to Virovitica, the Kozjak tunnel and the road to the Adriatic coast road as well as the road between Zagvozd and Imotski in Dalmatia.
He also considers it necessary to complete the Zagreb-Macelj motorway in cooperation with the concessionaire, as well as the Omis bypass and new roads and junctions at the entrance to Split, which has been a congested route for a long time.
‘Railway infrastructure needs to be improved’
Butkovic added that the railway infrastructure needs to be improved, however, these projects are being implemented slowly.
The President of the Croatian Roads Association and the head of the board of the Hrvatske Ceste (HC), the Croatian roads authority, Josip Skoric, said that traffic is the backbone of European integration and is key to the free movement of people, goods and services. He asserted that transport policy helps in the development of the economy and modern infrastructure.
Large transport investments bailed out construction companies to a certain extent, provided them with an opportunity for growth and development and gave smaller companies an opportunity to position themselves on the market, Skoric said.