On Tuesday, with a full day of events on either side of Pelješac Bridge, at Brijesta and Komarna, a special ceremony was held to commemorate the opening of Pelješac Bridge. The ceremony closed with a performance of the "Hymn to Freedom" and a lavish fireworks display, followed by the ceremonial opening of the 2404 metre Pelješac Bridge.
Croatian dream realized
The Pelješac Bridge opening ceremony was attended by the all top state officials, representatives of EU, international and religious institutions, representatives from the academic and expert community and numerous Croatians.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, in his address, spoke of the occasion as a historic day for Croatia and thanked all of the contractors and governments engaged on the realization of the project, which he called a statement of pride, connecting the south of Croatia with the rest of the country.
“This is a historic day for Croatia. I am overcome with feelings of joy, pride and thankfulness. It is gratifying that we have completed a truly national, strategic, pan-Croatian and above all supra-partisan project. This is a generational project, a statement of pride. Pride of being part of the generation that has achieved such a great act of connecting Croatian territory, linking the south of Croatia, the southern part of Dubrovnik-Neretva County with the rest of the country“, said the Prime Minister.
Government Vice President and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković expressed his delight and gratitude for the possibility of witnessing this historic moment for Croatia together.
“What we are witnessing today will remain inscribed in the modern history of Croatia and the Croatian people in golden letters. Is there anything left for us to say, which has not been said before, about the long history of striving to connect our territory, about the all-important support of the European Commission, about the magnificent edifice and impressive construction of the Pelješac Bridge, its economic, transport and foremost, national importance. Is there today anything greater and more awesome than this moment when all we can sense and feel is joy, excitement and pride above all?” – minister Butković pointed out in his address, also noting that the Pelješac Bridge is a credit to the people of Pelješac, Dubrovnik, the islands and wider gravitation area.
25 kilometres of road opened for traffic
The minister reminded that the Pelješac Brudge will shorten travel times, make everyday life easier, providing a host of benefits in the economic and any other sense.
“The Pelješac Bridge will mean turning over a new leaf in the life of the entire Dubrovnik-Neretva region, and the true significance of its construction will become apparent in the time to come.” – closed Government Vice President, minister Butković, inviting everyone present to celebrate opening the Pelješac Bridge to traffic together, finally linking Croatian territory after 300 years of separation, along with the access roads.
The Pelješac Bridge was constructed as part of the Road Connection to South Dalmatia project, with a total cost of around €520 million, and funded with €357 million of European funds. The project included the construction of 32 kilometres of roads, and 25 kilometres were opened for traffic at the same time as the Pelješac Bridge, along with the associated road equipment and the completion of the project achieves the objective of significantly improving the transport connectivity of the southernmost regions of the Republic of Croatia.