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News / New bridge connects BiH with Croatia across the River Sava
On 15 October, steel construction works joined up to complete the bridge at the border town of Gradiška on the Sava River. The European Union is co-funding the building of this bridge – one of the most important regional infrastructure projects connecting Bosnia and Herzegovina with Croatia – providing grants worth €3.2 million. This grant support is combined with a €65 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the EU.
The bridge is expected to have a radical impact on the local economies, and stimulate wider connections and exchange between the Western Balkans and the EU. As a main border crossing point, Gradiška has been a bottleneck for decades. This bridge will cut waiting times and improve the flow of goods and people. Part of the road Corridor Vc connecting the north and south of BiH and linking to the wider trans-European core network, the bridge will provide an essential transport link not only for the two countries but also for the rest of Europe.
Speaking at the official ceremony marking the bridge connection, Stefano Ellero, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The European Union has been a key partner in creation of this core road transport network connecting Bosnia and Herzegovina with Europe. Just two weeks ago, the Svilaj bridge was officially opened by the President of the European Commission and, as she stated, this symbolic act of connecting two parts means connecting people and cultures.”
“This comes at a key time in the period of recovery from the pandemic and its impact on the economy and lives of citizens; this will boost trade, economic recovery and growth.”
The bridge is part of a bigger project that includes the construction of modern border crossing facilities, and the section of Route 2a motorway between Banja Luka and Gradiška already completed in 2011. Overall, the European Union has so far allocated over €225 million in grants for 13 projects in the transport sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina along Corridor Vc – the largest infrastructure project in the country’s history – connecting Bosnia and Herzegovina with EU capitals and bringing people and countries closer.
Photo credits: WBIF
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