Kotezi Viaduct during construction
|Official name||Viadukt Kotezi|
|Maintained by||Hrvatske autoceste|
|Total length||1227 m|
|Toll||charged as a part of A1 motorway toll|
The 1,227-metre (4,026 ft) Kotezi Viaduct is part of the A1 motorway in Croatia, located between Ravča and Vrgorac interchanges. It is the second-longest viaduct found along the motorway. Construction and opening of the motorway section and the Kotezi Viaduct was marked by a naming dispute, causing the viaduct to be renamed twice in the month before the opening. The local population expressed concerns about the viaduct's effects on the drainage of floodwater from the karst polje it spans and on groundwater levels in the area.
The Kotezi Viaduct is a reinforced concrete viaduct carrying the A1 motorway in Croatia between Ravča and Vrgorac, across the Bunina Polje. It is 1,227 metres (4,026 ft) long and 28 metres (92 ft) wide, built as a dual structure, each part carrying two traffic lanes and an emergency lane. The Kotezi Viaduct is the second-longest viaduct along the A1 motorway route, surpassed only by the Drežnik Viaduct. The viaduct was built by a joint venture of DYWIDAG and Strabag and it represents the most complex structure along the Ravča–Vrgorac section of the A1 motorway.
Construction of the viaduct was accompanied by a naming dispute. Originally the structure was named Kotezi Viaduct, after the nearest toponym, village of Kotezi, only to be changed to Bunina Viaduct less than a month before its opening to traffic. However, only days after the decision was publicized by newspapers, Hrvatske autoceste decided to revert to the original name following protests by residents of Kotezi village. The latest change was contested by residents of Bunina village, leading to a public exchanges or arguments which name should be finally applied. Days after opening of the A1 motorway section containing the viaduct, traffic signs bearing name of the viaduct were vandalized, and newspapers speculated that the event represented a continuation of the naming dispute.
Construction of the viaduct caused concern amongst the local population that an embankment used as a temporary structure during construction works would prevent drainage of water from the Bunina Polje spanned by the viaduct. The polje is regularly flooded each winter and spring due to high precipitation. Additional concerns were raised that the construction works may cause reduced yield of Betina spring and lack of flooding as was the case in 2008, when two adjacent poljes, Rastok and Jezero, were flooded unlike the Bunina Polje; any shortage of water presents a concern for agricultural production in the area. The three poljes, including Bunina, are classified as environmentally critical primarily because of improper application of fertilizers in the karst.
- Mate Primorac (June 9, 2011). "HAC popustio: vijadukt će se ipak zvati Kotezi" [Hrvatske autoceste give in: The viaduct shall be called Kotezi after all]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- "Drežnik Viaduct near Karlovac". Gradimo (in Croatian). July 29, 2009.
- "OTVORENA NOVA DIONICA RAVČA VRGORAC NA A1 ZAGREB-SPLIT-DUBROVNIK" [NEW RAVČA-VRGORAC SECTION OF THE A1 ZAGREB-SPLIT-DUBROVNIK MOTORWAY OPENS] (in Croatian). Hrvatske autoceste. June 30, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Jure Divić (June 7, 2011). "Sukob dvaju sela zbog naziva vijadukta na Dalmatini" [Two villages' dispute about name of a Dalmatina motorway viaduct] (in Croatian). t-portal.hr. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Mate Primorac (July 4, 2011). "SVAĐA STANOVNIKA OKO IMENA – Nova dionica A1: vijadukt Kotezi opet Bunina" [LOCAL POPULATION IN NAMING DISPUTE – New A1 section: Kotezi Viaduct renamed Bunina again]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Mate Primorac (April 19, 2009). "Nasip autoceste začepio Buninu" [Embankment plugs Bunina]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- Mate Primorac (December 15, 2008). "Radovi na autocesti 'isušili' polje Buninu" [Motorway construction 'drain' the Bunina Polje]. Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- "Ožujak, 2010 – ZAŠTITA EKOSUSTAVA" [March 2010 – ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION] (in Croatian). City of Vrgorac. Retrieved August 23, 2011.