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Construction of second tube of Učka Tunnel starts

PM attends launching of works on second tube of Ucka Tunnel

(Photo credit: Jarba/e GNU Free Documentation License)

ZAGREB, Dec 17 (Hina) – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Thursday attended a ceremony launching construction works for the second tube of the Učka Tunnel valued at HRK 1.5 billion and described the project as having exceptional importance.

“The Istrian Y motorway is one of the major traffic arteries in Croatia and that is why this project is of exceptional importance,” said Plenković, recalling that two years ago when works began on the 2B1 phase, he underscored that transport connectivity was one of the government’s priorities.

“Today we have made another significant step towards completely integrating all areas of Croatia, in this case, Istria, into the European transport and, with that, economic system of Croatia and the European Union,” Plenković underscored.

He said that the government’s decision in Pula two years ago was the precondition for the continuation of works on the dual carriageway of the Istrian Y.

Only after that did the government adopt a decision to amend the concession contract which created the conditions to commence works on the second tube of the Učka Tunnel valued at HRK 1.5 billion.

He thanked the Bouygues Group, a partner in the Bina Istra company, for proving to be a quality partner. He said the public-private partnership model in this project could serve as an example for similar projects because after the concessions expire, Croatia will have all the motorway sections that have been built, valued at more than HRK 7.2 billion.

“Investments are particularly important and that is why the government will invest HRK 45 billion in the transport sector by 2027, of which HRK 22 billion in railways, HRK 15 billion in roads, HRK 3 billion in ports and HRK 5 billion in other investments. We expect the most significant projects to be completed in this term, and certainly, the most important one is the Pelješac Bridge which will physically integrate Croatia as a country in 2022,” he said.

For Istria to be connected to the rest of Croatia, it is still necessary to complete the section from the Rijeka side of the Učka Tunnel to the Rijeka ring road, i.e. Matulji, it was said today.

Butkovic: We have shown that we know how to realise large infrastructure projects

Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic said that Croatia has shown that it knows how to realise large infrastructure projects.

He said that the second tube of the Učka Tunnel and the Istria Y motorway dual carriageway would be ready for the 2021 summer season.

“The entire Istria Y motorway will be completed by the end of 2024 and by 2039 it will be owned by Croatia, i.e. Croatian Motorways. These infrastructure projects show the government’s commitment to equally developing and implementing large infrastructure projects around the country,” he said.

Radin: This project gives us hope

Istria County Prefect Fabrizio Radin said that this project is of essential importance for Istria.

“We are grateful to the government and Bina-Istra. This project gives us hope that the economy’s recovery will begin soon,” said Radin, while Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Prefect Zlatko Komadina called for works to commence on a second lane to Matulji.

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