Croatia Cancels Pelješac Bridge Project
Croatia has abandoned plans to avoid crossing a short stretch of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the way south along the coast. Long established plans to build a bridge across the Pelješac Peninsula have been scrapped for financial reasons.
In the sometimes strange carve up of Balkan territory, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a small stretch of coastline around Neum. Croatians travelling by road enter into Bosnia and Herzegovina territory for fifteen minutes or so, or longer if they stop for duty free! There is occasionally a token passport check.
To keep drivers on national territory, Croatia had planned a 2.4 km bridge linking the mainland to the Pelješac Peninsula, somewhat to the consternation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The contract was signed in 2007 with an estimated project cost of €320 million. The project was due for completion this year but has been fraught with delays, and construction had only just begun. Instead of the bridge, Croatia intends to spend a mere €5 million on enhancements to “the Neum corridor”.
It is reported that “the Government has reached an amicable solution with the contractors involved, and no reparations will be due as a result of the cancellation” and one can only imagine that there is a bit more to this than meets the eye!