Peljesac bridge - promised-done-Croatia is one again!
What always seemed impossible and unattainable, is now a reality. The last segment of the Peljesac bridge was laid on July 28, thus making the bridge, linking Croatia’s Peljesac peninsula with the rest of the country, fully joined together with the installation of the last, 165th segment of its steel span. Croatian dream of becoming one has now finally become true! As of this date, the Croatian territory reconnects with Dubrovnik via the Peljesac bridge. No longer the small place of Neum will be the way to Dubrovnik. The last segment of the steel span structure of the Pelješac Bridge has now been installed, which will connect the mainland of the Peljesac peninsula, Komarna place, with Brijesta on the same peninsula.
This project was neither easy nor without obstacles.
“The decades-long dream of connecting Croatia” was an old promise of the former Croatian governments. The current government pointed out that the European Commission had ordered a preliminary feasibility study back in 2013, “which showed that the Peljesac Bridge was the best solution for joining Croatia’s south with the rest of the country”. The Peljesac bridge project started on several occasions, but was called off several times, for various reasons, until April 2018 when the contract worth half a billion Euros was signed to build the bridge with a Chinese company. Some political tensions and doubts arose not only about its completion but about its development itself.
The contract entrusts the construction to the Chinese consortium China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), one of the globally largest and most experienced in such works. This was also the first such project of a Chinese company in the European Union. It is obvious that this project will mean so much for the Croatian economy too, because its construction would not only establish a stable road connection between all parts of the Croatian territory,but would connect Croatia to the south of Europe, mostly Greece and help attract more tourists from those areas. The Dubrovnik-Neretva County would connect with the rest of the Croatian territory, which will contribute significantly to the development of Dubrovnik, the peninsula of Pelješac and the whole of the southernmost Croatian counties.
Apart from infrastructure projects, co-operation with China is also an opportunity for domestic companies or exporters. In recent years the Croatian Exporters Association has warned at several conferences that Croatian companies have to look for opportunities to cooperate with China and South Korea.
The whole Croatia and its inhabitants have hoped for this moment for so long, since Dubrovnik was cut off from the rest of the country, by having its position on the far southeast of the country which was always a burden, making Dubrovnik so far away from all major cities of Croatia. Although the bridge will open fully for the vehicles next year, this connection of its construction will have a major impact on this area. Dubrovnik will now become easily reachable for all, especially for tourists coming by car, which Dubrovnik has been trying to attract for so long. Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic" (according to Lord Byron) is a place of jaw-dropping beauty making it Croatia's top sight and a prime resort destination, mostly for air travellers,:British,German, French tourists in the greatest part. Although air travel is of the greatest importance and without it Dubrovnik would be just a small place on the map, totally unknown to the rest of the world, we do hope to attract more road travellers and get to open to other tourists, especially from the Eastern Europe.
“The Peljesac Bridge is a fascinating strategic achievement of the Croatian people and the government that will serve generations to come,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at the ceremony, together with other officials. The first vehicles will not pass over the bridge until the 2022 spring, and the complete project of the bridge with access roads will be completed by June next year.
Locals from the Dubrovnik area are looking forward to the opening of the bridge because they will not have to waste time crossing the border with Bosnia any more, in order to get to the rest of Croatia.
With this message employees of the China Road and Bridge Company describe the period from the beginning of the construction of the Pelješac Bridge to its connection on July 28, 2021.
Now, the Peljesac bridge is a reality after the titanic efforts made in these three years and not only because of the demand for a bridge of these dimensions but also because of the area and the climatic conditions in which it was built.
We'll finish with the words of the Mayor of Dubrovnik: May the Pelješac bridge be guarded by St. Blaise and St. Rocco!