The Peljesac Bridge, which will open to traffic on Tuesday, will deepen mutually beneficial relations between China and Croatia and the European Union, a senior diplomat said.
Qi Qianjin, China’s ambassador to Croatia, told Xinhua News Agency in a recent interview that the bridge is a leading project for promoting Chinese equipment, technology and craftsmanship. in the construction industry in Croatia and worldwide.
Qi added that the bridge, which is China’s biggest infrastructure project in Croatia so far, is a symbol of good cooperation between China and Europe.
The bridge connects the Croatian mainland with the Peljesac peninsula of its southernmost county of Dubrovnik-Neretva, bypassing a short strip of land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and giving Croatia its long-awaited territorial integrity and better access to the region.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the 2.4-kilometer-long bridge, along with access roads, cost 525 million euros ($538 million), including 357 million euros in grants from European Union funds.
A Chinese consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corp won the tender for the construction of the Peljesac Bridge and its access roads in 2018. Construction of the bridge began in July 2018 and was completed in deadlines, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qi said the project has contributed greatly to economic growth in Croatia and more broadly in Europe, as it employed more than 250 local people, while helping to cultivate engineering, technical and management skills, thus effectively stimulating development. local businesses and promoting Croatia. economic and social development.
A total of 18 design and consultancy companies and 45 construction companies in the EU, as well as 112 global suppliers of equipment and materials, participated in the project.
Chinese companies have strictly followed EU and Croatian environmental protection regulations to minimize the project’s impact on the environment, he added.