Sailing to the distant light of the island of Lastovo will be significantly faster and safer in two years. This promise was made by the Director of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Port Authority, Antun Banovac, and the Vice President of the Government and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, at the initial conference of the Ubli ferry port reconstruction project, held on Monday, May 8.
The extensive project worth €7.86 million was presented at the conference. The project will add a new ferry wharf, with a 110 m long berth and a ramp for loading and unloading vehicles, to the existing ferry ramp of the port of Ubli. The existing quay for ferries will be extended by 54.48 m. The port works will be followed by the reconstruction of shoreside traffic surfaces, as well as the road connection of the port with the county road Ž6230 Pasadur – Ubli. The implementation of the project will make docking possible for larger ferries, as well as reduce crowding once multiple liners have docked.
On this occasion, the construction contract was signed between the Port Authority and the contractor Pomgrad engineering Ltd., responsible for last year’s reconstruction of Quay of Knez Domagoj in Split. Funds for the project were secured through the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 – 2020, which has brought European Union funds to everyone’s doorstep, and now even to our most remote inhabited island. The project in the port of Ubli was financed with €6.66 million from the Cohesion Fund and €1.17 million from the State Budget. The start of the works was announced for June.
European funds are fuelling an investment cycle of over 300 million euros in Croatian ports
“I am delighted to be on this beautiful island today for the first time. A few months ago, when we were preparing and knew that this project would be at such a stage that the contract signing would soon follow, I expressed my desire to come here in a conversation with the prefect and the deputy prefect. I know how much these projects mean to you here on Lastovo, this beautiful, untouched island. This is heaven on earth!“, Vice President of the Government and Minister Butković remarked admiringly. He added that the investment cycle, which includes the reconstruction of the port of Ubli, and is also known as the renaissance on the Croatian coast, was initiated with the help of European and national funds. The cycle started in 2016 with a continuous increase in allocations from the State Budget.
Not only the construction of adequate infrastructure contributes to a better connection of Lastovo with the mainland, but also the frequency and reliability of shipping lines. The Government of the Republic of Croatia, at the session held on May 21, 2020, adopted the Decision on the establishment of daily year-round fast ferry line number 9808 on the route Lastovo (Ubli) – Korčula – Dubrovnik. The jump in the quality of public maritime transport that more regular lines and a modern port bring will improve the general quality of life on the island. Less frequent congestion in the port will also reduce waiting times which frustrate visitors to the natural and cultural beauties of Lastovo.
In addition to the Vice President of the Government and Minister Butković and the Director of the Port Authority of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Dubrovnik-Neretva County Prefect Nikola Dobroslavić, Mayor of Lastovo Municipality Anita Jančić Lešić and representatives of surrounding municipalities took part in the opening conference.