A 74-metre long test pile was hammered into the seabed off the southern Croatian Adriatic coast on Thursday, marking the first actual construction work on building the future Peljesac Bridge by the China Bridge and Road Cooperation (CBRC).
An executive of the state-owned road management company Hrvatske Ceste, Jeroslav Segedin, explained that the purpose of the test pile is for the CRBC to test and prove that it will be able to meet the required quality and technology standards for the project.
“In addition, we want to see whether the schedule of works to be done would follow the plan… So far, we are satisfied, particularly with the quality of the piles that are being shipped in from China – 26 piles are expected to arrive in mid-January, and 20 more have been completed and are waiting to be loaded for transport,” Segedin said.
Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect, Nikola Dobroslavic, said that based on what he had seen, CRBC has the know-how and experience to successfully complete the project as agreed.
“This is an exceptionally important project for the county,” he said, adding that the bridge is expected to be completed on schedule and open in 2022, connecting Croatia’s southernmost region with the rest of the country’s road network.
Meanwhile, tenders for projects building access roads around the bridge have been announced.
“Tenders have been advertised for access roads as well as a for a ring road around (the coastal town of) Ston,” Dobroslavic said.
The value of the entire Peljesac Bridge project and its access roads is estimated at 2.08 billion kuna, excluding VAT. The contract for building the bridge was signed in April between Hrvatske Ceste and the Chinese consortium CRBC, with 85 percent of that cost paid for by EU funding.