Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, prof. Zorana Mihajlović, PhD, the Director of the European Investment Bank's Western Balkans Office, Dubravka Negre, the Acting Director of the PE "Roads of Serbia", Zoran Drobnjak, together with the representatives of the contractors today opened for traffic the “twin” bridge over the river Sava at Ostružnica on the Belgrade Bypass.
Prior to the opening for traffic and the first drive along this section, Mihajlović pointed out that there was no better moment in the construction business than the moment when a structure is completed and when rivers and people are connected, because that is what bridges symbolize.
“I am proud of one more bridge that we have built. It hasn’t been easy, because in the river we found tons and tons of steel left over by the countries that bombed us. That’s why we applied a brand new construction technology and I would like to thank all the engineers and workers for that. We have shown courage and firmness and proved that we always fulfill our promises”, she said.
Dubravka Negre reminded of the Nobel prize winner Ivo Andrić’s words which say that, of all things a man creates and builds in his life, nothing is more valuable and important than bridges.
“The city and its citizens and also all those passing through Belgrade need the bypass very much. It is situated on the Pan-European corridor connecting the East and the West. Except for the economy, it is also important for the citizens of Belgrade because the air pollution in the city centre has been reduced. The completion of this bridge means the completion of the EIB investment in the bypass worth 100 million euros. I would like to thank the Deputy Prime Minister and all participants in this project for recognizing us as a reliable partner who, until now, has invested 1.8 billion euros in the Serbian infrastructure”, Negre pointed out.
Director Drobnjak said that the bridge was built using a special technology. “It is a special type of construction, where we lifted a steel structure weighing 550 tons off a special vessel. We have ahead of us remedial works on the other part of the bridge, built in 1999, that was bombed”, Drobnjak announced.
Dragan Jocić, the supervisor of this project, said that this was an exceptional construction piece which would be left as a legacy to future engineers and builders, since it was built without touching the ground, with structures being installed from ships.
Mihajlović, Negre and Drobnjak then crossed the bridge in a car, which meant the official opening of this masterpiece of Serbian builders for traffic.
By completing the Bridge no.8, the Belgrade Bypass became fully functional as a full motorway profile in the length of 26.9 km (from Batajnica to the interchange Ostružnica).
For the completion of a full motorway profile from Batajnica to Bubanj Potok, it is necessary to complete the works on the section from Ostružnica to Bubanj potok (20.4 km with access roads), which are now in progress.