The Pelješac bridge is finished and opened. Croatian land is now connected and there is no need to go through Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach the extreme south of the country.
Because the Croatian mainland is intersected by a small strip of the coast around the town of Neum which is part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, forming Bosnia and Herzegovina’s only outlet to the sea, the physical connection of the southernmost part of Dalmatia with the rest of Croatia is limited to Croatian territorial waters.
In 1996, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia signed the Neum Agreement in which Croatia was granted unobstructed passage through Neum, but the agreement was never ratified. All traffic passing through the Neum corridor has to undergo border checks on goods and persons. Therefore, people traveling from the Dubrovnik exclave to mainland Croatia must pass through two border checks in a space of 9 kilometers.
The idea of building a bridge was first announced in 1997 by the prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva county, Ivan Šprlje. The bridge was added to the spatial plan of the county in 2000, and then in 2005 and 2007, the construction work was officially opened, with three percent of the original project completed by 2010, with HRK 246 million spent and only HRK 71 million achieved through construction.
Croatia acceded to the European Union in 2013, which opens the possibility for it to co-finance the construction; in 2015, Croatia was granted EUR 330 million from Union funds to finance 85% of construction costs. The tender announced in 2017 was won in April 2018 by the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation with an offer of HRK 2 billion and a construction period of 36 months.
The bridge is 2404 meters long.
The grand opening was on the 26th of June.
The first to cross the bridge was the Nevera, an electric sports car produced by the Croatian manufacturer Rimac Automobili.
Read the full article HERE.