Pillars of the historic 2.4 km Peljesac bridge in Croatia are beginning to appear above sea level, as construction moves ahead of schedule.
The bridge will span the channel between Komarna on the mainland and Brijesta on the Peljesac peninsula, making it possible for Croatians to drive to the most southerly part of the country – including Dubrovnik – without having to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The contract to build the bridge was awarded in January 2018, to the Chinese-state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – one of the world’s largest construction and engineering companies.
CRBC brought in the 240 m-long heavy load carrier vessel, Zhen Hua 7, plus four smaller ships, to lay the bridge’s 148 foundations, with the first laid in January this year and the last hammered in in May.
A CRBC representative said the company also laid two test piles, one of which, at 128.6 m in length, was the world’s longest. The test pile weighs approximately 240 tonnes and all piles have a diameter of between 1.8 and 2 m.
CRBC expects the project, which has an estimated value of €420 million, to be completed by mid-2021, and the company currently has approximately 385 workers on site, with almost 90% of them Chinese nationals.
Approximately 30 km of access roads – including a tunnel 1,242 m in length – are also under construction, with completion expected by 2023.