Belgrade–Bar motorway

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Belgrade–Bar Motorway
Аутопут Београд - Бар
Autoput Beograd - Bar
Route information
Length: 445 km (277 mi)
Planned length
Major junctions
From: Belgrade
To: Bar
Location
Countries: Serbia, Montenegro
Major cities: Belgrade, Obrenovac, Požega, Berane, Podgorica, Bar
Highway system
Transport in Europe

Belgrade–Bar motorway (Serbian and Montenegrin: Аутопут Београд - Бар, Autoput Beograd - Bar), is a future motorway in Serbia and Montenegro. The motorway will connect Serbian capital of Belgrade and Bar, Montenegro's main seaport. Italy, Montenegro and Serbia are lobbying to list the route with Pan-European corridors, and it is frequently referred to as part of proposed Corridor XI, or 4B - an envisioned ferry/motorway corridor linking Bari, Bar, Belgrade and Bucharest.

Serbian section[edit]

Just recently the focus has somewhat shifted away from construction of the transit route of Corridor 10 towards the Belgrade - Bar motorway. The motorway is envisioned as a local link as much as a transit link, connecting densely populated southwestern Serbia with Belgrade and the European road network.

Route description[edit]

Serbian section of the motorway can be roughly divided into two sections - Belgrade to Požega and Požega to Boljare (Border with Montenegro).

The section of the road between Belgrade and Požega will pass through the Serbian towns of Ostružnica, Umka, Obrenovac, Ub, Lajkovac, Ljig, Takovo, Preljina and Požega. It is estimated that this section of the motorway will cost around 575 million euros, and because of favorable terrain it will be the cheapest section of the motorway.

The southern section of the road from Požega to Boljare will cost at least 1.5 billion euros, for approximately 110 km (68 mi). The exact route of this section has not yet been determined.

Current progress[edit]

In Serbia, efforts to start the construction of the 146.37 km (90.95 mi) long section between Belgrade and Požega began in 2008, when a concession contract was signed with Alpine Mayreder and FCC Construction. Yet, Alpine and Government of Serbia agreed to cancel the contract in August 2008.

In 2010, consortium of Serbian construction companies won the bidding for building of 12,5 km section between Ub and Lajkovac. On July 30, 2010, the work began and the construction is still underway.

Montenegrin section[edit]

Corridors of future motorways in Montenegro. Bar - Boljare motorway is marked in red

The Montenegrin part of motorway is known as Bar-Boljare motorway. It will be 164 km long, and by far the most expensive one, with an estimated cost of around 2 billion euros. The rugged mountainous terrain is an engineering challenge, with 50 tunnels and 95 bridges and viaducts planned along the section.[1]

Route description[edit]

The Montenegrin part is to be built in three phases:

  • (Bar) Đurmani - Sozina tunnel - Virpazar - Bistrica - Šteke - Ćafa - Tološko polje - (Podgorica) Smokovac - this is the southernmost section of the motorway, that will link the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica with the main Montenegrin seaport in Bar. Potential investors, such as EBRD and EIB, are suggesting that this section should be built first, as it will likely have the biggest traffic volume following completion. The planned length of this section is 51 km.
  • (Podgorica) Smokovac - Bioče - Pelev Brijeg - Lijeva Rijeka - Veruša - Mateševo - this middle section of the motorway is considered a priority, because of its significance as a link between Podgorica and northern Montenegro. The current road link (E65), carved into the Morača canyon, is a curvy mountainous road, considered dangerous during the winter, and is a bottleneck in Montenegrin road network. Thus, building this section first is a requirement in bidding documents presented by the Montenegrin Government. This section will have a length of 40 km, and is by far the most expensive section of the motorway, with a cost per kilometer of motorway estimated to be higher than 20 million EUR.
  • Mateševo - Andrijevica - Berane - Crnča - Boljare - Border with Serbia - this northernmost section of the motorway is likely to be completed only after progress is made on the Serbian section of the motorway south of Požega. The planned length of this section is 73 km.

Current progress[edit]

The project is currently in construction bidding phase, and is devised as a public-private partnership. A general contractor that signs the contract with the Government of Montenegro is to finance the construction of the motorway, and conduct maintenance and collect toll fees and other incomes for a period of 30 years after completion. During that 30 year period, Government of Montenegro will pay off its share of financing through annuities.

The bidding offers were reviewed in March 2009, and the top bid came from the Croatian consortium, led by the company of Konstruktor. This was followed by signing of contract document, and announcing of the beginning of construction works in June 2009. The official construction works opening ceremony happened on October 15, 2009, in the village of Gornje Mrke north of Podgorica, attended by the Prime Ministers of Montenegro (Milo Đukanović), Serbia (Mirko Cvetković) and Croatia (Jadranka Kosor). However, the Croatian consortium failed to provide necessary bank guarantees in a timely manner, so the contract was cancelled eight months later.

The second best rated bidder, a consortium of the Greek company Aktor and the Israeli company Shikun & Binui was called in for negotiations by the Government. After negotiations, it was agreed that Aktor/HCH consortium builds two southern sections of the motorway for a price of 1.575 billion euro.[2] The third and the northernmost section, from Mateševo to Boljare (border with Serbia), as well as the small strip across the Lake Skadar, were to be the subject of further negotiations. However, the Greek-Israeli consortium also failed to provide bank guarantees, so the negotiations between the consortium and the Government of Montenegro were ended in December 2010.

The Government of Montenegro began to explore financing options for motorway construction, including negotiations with Chinese investors. The possibility of China Road and Bridge Group and China Poly Group Corporation building the road, with the financial backing of Exim Bank of China, is now mentioned in the Montenegrin media. In January 2011, the Montenegrin Minister of Transportation has sent an official letter of invitation to the Poly Group, and the negotiations are currently underway. If the negotiations come through, the terms of building and financing will be established via treaty, thus avoiding the bidding process and discarding the public-private partnership option.

In April 2013 discussions were still under way between the Montenegrin government and Chinese parties[3] and an offer of US$1bn of financing by EXIM bank and the selection of a preferred construction consortium was announced in July 2013[4] and with detailed commercial negotiations underway since.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Koncesioni ugovor za autoput od Bara do Boljara za mjesec dana? (Montenegrin)
  2. ^ http://www.seenews.com/news/latestnews/montenegroaccepts1_575blneuroofferofgreek-israeliaktor_hchformotorway-153543/
  3. ^ "China’s Ex-Im Bank may offer preferential loan for Bar-Boljare road project". 10 April 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Chinese firms win European motorway project: Montenegro". 12 July 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 

External links[edit]