News 22 May 12

Bosnia Takes Small Step in Motorway Construction

Bosnia's Federation government has signed an agreement worth 115 million euros with a Turkish company to build five kilometres of motorway.

Elvira Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The Turkish company Cengiz Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret will build five kilometres of Corridor 5c, the projected Bosnia and Herzegovina motorway network, according to an agreement signed by company director Kemal Unluer on May 21 in Sarajevo. The agreement is with the Federation Motorway public corporation.

The motorway section will include the 2,800 metre Suhodol Tunnel, the 400-metre Tarcin Tunnel, the 90-metere Bijela Bridge and the Tarcin bypass.

Work should be completed within 28 months. The Bosnian company Euroasfalt will also take part in the construction work. The project's 115 million-euro funding has been provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

 

 

 

The planned Corridor 5c of which some 37 kilometers were built from Sarajevo half-way to Zenica

The five kilometres from Suhodol to Tarcin, going south from Sarajevo, is part of a 20 kilometre section that will start to connect Sarajevo to Tarcin and Konjic before continuing to Mostar and the Adriatic coast.

But the overall project has proceeded at a snail's pace, with only a small amount of the 340 kilometres projected just for the Federation constructed so far.

Motorway construction on Corridor 5 started in 1998. The object is to connect the Bosnian network to the Corridor 5 that runs from Venice, Italy, through Trieste, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Budapest in Hungary and on to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

Currently there is only around 70 kilometres of motorway in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

So far, around 40 kilometres has been built from Sarajevo to the mid-Bosnia town of Kakanj while the construction of a tunnel near Zenica, further to the north, is ongoing.

In the other Entity, Republika Srpska, the motorway from Banja Luka, the biggest town in the northwest of Bosnia, runs around 30 kilometres to Gradiska near the border with Croatia.

Although international funding has already been secured, construction has been slow due to problems involving bureaucracy, land expropriation, construction company bankruptcies and disputes over the motorway route.

The current Federation government has promised to push motorway construction for another 80 kilometres by the end of its mandate in the autumn of 2014.

Around half a billion euros are available for construction work, according to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Transport and Communications Ministry, but progress until now suggests that completing the promised construction within the timeframe is unlikely.

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