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EU allocates 357 mln euro to Croatia for Peljesac bridge construction

Author Maja Garaca
EU allocates 357 mln euro to Croatia for Peljesac bridge construction Aradic-es/CC by SA 3.0

ZAGREB (Croatia), June 7 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it is allocating 357 million euro ($400.1 million) of cohesion policy funds to build a bridge in Croatia, connecting the southernmost part of the country and Dubrovnik to the rest of the mainland.

The EU will contribute 85% of the cost of the construction of the Peljesac bridge, which will significantly reduce the travel time between Dubrovnik and Split, the Commission said in a statement.

"This seamless connection will also greatly benefit tourism, trade and will reinforce the territorial cohesion of the South Dalmatia region with the other part of the country," the EU executive body said.

"This project genuinely embodies our commitment to removing barriers, uniting territories and bringing people together", Corina Cretu, commissioner for regional policy, said.

The Neum corridor, a strip of the Adriatic Sea coastline part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is currently the only land-based communication route between Dubrovnik and the rest of mainland Croatia.

The new bridge will connect the Dubrovnik–Neretva County to the rest of the country, by crossing the Mali Ston Bay over the Adriatic Sea. This will facilitate a smooth flow of goods and people, especially at the peak of the tourist season.

The Peljesac bridge will be 55 m high and 2.4 km long, with four lanes. The EU is also funding supporting infrastructure, such as the construction of access roads, including tunnels, bridges and viaducts, the building of an 8 km-long bypass near the town of Ston and upgrading works on the existing road D414.

The works are expected to be completed in 2022.

The bridge has been planned since 2007 but political bickering has delayed construction works several times. Bosnia has also voiced concerns that the bridge may disrupt its access to international waters.

($=0.892287 euro)