|Croatian: Istarski ipsilon|
|Maintained by||BINA Istra|
The Istrian Y (Croatian: Istarski ipsilon) is a highway complex in the Croatian highway network, consisting of section A8 Matulji-Kanfanar and section A9 Slovenian border-Kanfanar-Pula. It is called the Istrian Y because it is shaped like the letter Y, with the three stretches all meeting at Kanfanar interchange in south central Istria. The complex was built and will be maintained by the company BINA Istra until 2027. Both highways have a speed limit between 100 km/h (62 mph) and 80 km/h (50 mph).
The A8 is a 64.21 km (39.90 mi) long branch which starts at Matulji in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and finishes in Kanfanar interchange, at the crossing with the A9. The branch is built as a single carriageway limited-access road, but the part between Kanfanar and Pazin was projected as a dual carriageway, so all the objects on the road are already prepared for a conversion to a motorway.
The most prominent feature of this branch of Istrian Y is the 5.4 km (3.4 mi) long Učka Tunnel, the third longest tunnel in Croatia. The tunnel was opened in 1981 and is the main road that connects the Istrian peninsula with Rijeka and the rest of Croatia. The current toll for the tunnel is 28 HRK for passenger cars.
The A9 is a 76.79 km (47.72 mi) long branch which connects the Croatian-Slovenian border near Sečovlje with the city of Pula and services the tourist industry on the western coast of Istria. The sections between the border and Kanfanar are a single carriageway limited-access road; from Kanfanar to Pula it is a dual carriageway.
The viaduct "Limska draga" was built between 1988 and 1991 and was the first part of the western branch of Istrian Y that was constructed. The bridge is 552 m long and the height of the highest pillon is 120 m.
The bridge "Mirna" was opened to traffic in 2005. The bridge represents the crossing over river Mirna and was the most complicated object on the western branch of the Istrian Y because of the swampy terrain around the river. The bridge is 1355 m long and the height of the bridge at the highest point is 40 m. Currently the bridge is being tolled at the price of 14 HRK for passenger cars.
Conversion to a highway and the future expansions
The Istrian Y highway is being built in two phases.
The first phase, which was finished in 2007, involved the building of the two expressways, then called B8 and B9, in the two-lane freeway form (single carriageway, one lane in each direction), except for the Kanfanar crossing, which was built as a four-lane highway from the start.
Because of the rise in traffic on the highway and because of safety issues, the second phase of construction commenced in October 2008. In this phase, the whole western branch of the Y, except the viaduct "Limska draga" and bridge "Mirna", were reconstructed as a four-lane highway by June 2011.
The eastern branch, from Kanfanar to Pazin, is also being reconstructed as a four-lane highway. This phase is supposed to be finished until June 2011.
After the second phase of the Y is going to be finished, the parts of the Y having four lanes are going to be tolled.
As of 2008[update] there were no exact dates for the conversion of viaduct "Limska draga", bridge Mirna and the part of eastern branch of Y from Pazin to Matulji (including Učka Tunnel) to four-lane highway.
- "Bina-Istra - Basic Data from the Concession Agreement". BINA Istra.
- "Kosor otvorila puni profil autoceste na Istarskom ipsilonu od Kanfanara do Umaga" (in Croatian). 14 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Svečano otvorena dionica autoceste Umag – Kanfanar". Regional Express - online magazin (in Croatian). 14 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.