The contract to construct the new Peljesac Bridge will be signed on Monday. Speaking to Croatia Radio Television, the Minster for Sea, Traffic and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, commented that the contract for the construction of the bridge will be signed with the Chinese company on Monday.
The Chinese company, Chinese Road and Bridge Corporation, won the public tender to construct the new bridge, however this result has been challenged by the other companies in the tender. The Austrian construction company, Strabag AG, have filled a complaint against a bid and this court process could slow down the whole process by up to two years.
The Peljesac bridge is the largest planned infrastructure project in Croatia, intended to link the southernmost part of the country with the rest of its road network by circumventing a short strip of Bosnia and Herzegovina's coastal territory around the town of Neum, avoiding customs controls and improving the flow of road traffic during the summer tourist season.
The entire project is worth €420 million without VAT, with the EU funding 85 percent of the total cost, or €357 million. The government's tender to build the main part of the project, including the bridge itself and access roads, received three bids, and the winning bid, announced in January 2018 by the state-owned road management company Hrvatske Ceste, was by the CRBC, worth 2.08 billion kuna (€280.7 million).
"We confirm that we have filed a complaint against the decision in the tender for the Peljesac Bridge project today at the Administrative Court in Zagreb. We also filed a motion for a temporary court ban on the construction works to start. We also turned to the European Commission," Strabag said.
When asked whether the Strabag court case would delay the start of construction of the Peljesac Bridge the Minster replied “Despite Strabag's lawsuit, the procedure is legitimate for us. What kind of citizen of this country would I be if I advocated stopping the construction of the Peljesac Bridge?”