Croatia: Delayed bridge bypassing Bosnia goes ahead

Diggers working at the site next to the Adriatic Image copyright AFP
Image caption The construction of an access road for the bridge started in 2007, but the project stalled

A long-awaited bridge connecting two separate parts of Croatia has finally been given the go-ahead, it's reported.

At the moment any Croatians hoping to drive south to the popular seaside city of Dubrovnik first have to pass through a 14km (8.7 mile) stretch of coast belonging to neighbouring Bosnia. Once completed, the new bridge will take cars from the mainland across a sliver of the Adriatic Sea to the Peljesac peninsula, the Balkan Insight website reports. Croatia's government says construction is likely to start in spring 2016, at a total cost of 380m euros ($417m; £267m). "Above all there is this desire to connect Croatia so that one no longer has to travel to and from Dubrovnik through the territory of another state," says Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.

The idea of connecting the two sections of land first surfaced in the 1990s, and construction even got under way in 2007. But it subsequently stalled and was later cancelled due to lack of funds. Bosnia has also raised concerns that the bridge could block ships from accessing its territory. But the country's transport minister recently said that the neighbours are cooperating on the issue, and are likely to form a joint commission to ensure that both countries' needs are met.

Image copyright Pipenbaher Consulting Engineers
Image caption The bridge, seen here in a computer-generated image, will be 2.4km (1.5 miles) long

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