Croatia opens work on EU-funded bridge opposed by Bosnia
STON, Croatia (AP) — Construction is starting in Croatia on a bridge that the European Union is financing but has been strongly opposed by neighboring Bosnia.
The Peljesac Bridge in southern Croatia is designed to connect two swaths of Adriatic Sea coastline and passes over a small stretch of Bosnia’s territory.
Croatia awarded the construction contract to a Chinese consortium, the state Road and Bridge Corporation, despite protests from Austrian and Italian-Turkish bidders that it violated EU regulations.
The project is expected to cost 540 million euros, with the EU funding 85 percent.
Officials said Monday that the 2.4-kilometer (1.5-mile) bridge should be finished in three years and additional infrastructure is expected to be completed by 2022.
Bosnia Muslim Presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic says the bridge violates Bosnia’s sovereign access to open seas in the Adriatic.