New bridge over Danube connected, opening by end of 2014
BELGRADE -- The bridge on the Danube between Zemun and Borča, the two sides of which were linked on Wednesday, will be completed by December 27, 2014.
This was revealed by Serbia's Minister of Transport Aleksandar Antić, who today toured the construction site along with President Tomislav Nikolić.
Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Zhang Wanxue, President of the Belgrade Provisional Council Siniša Mali and member of that council Nikola Nikodijević were also there during the visit.
The Chinese ambassador congratulated to contractor on the success so far and thanked for the support.
The construction of the bridge is an example of successful cooperation in infrastructure, he stated, adding that Serbia and China could cooperate well in other areas too.
China will fund some infrastructure projects in Serbia with resources meant for investments in 16 countries of Central and East Europe, which stand at USD 10 billion.
Nikolić congratulated the builders on a job well done, stressing that Serbia and China had serious and unbreakable bonds of friendship.
Serbia began the accession talks with the EU on Tuesday and the construction of the South Stream pipeline will start this year, he said, adding that he hoped Serbia would meet its goal and the people would start feeling the benefits earlier than expected.
"This is an indication that we can meet our goal and the people can begin feeling the benefits earlier than expected when it comes to us opening towards the world and accepting it and regarding Serbia's political course, which it has followed persistently, systematically and without pause," Nikolić told reporters.
Antić stressed that the bridge was one of the most important infrastructure projects in the past few decades, adding that it would greatly affect traffic in Serbia.
There are plans for other bridge over the Danube, near Vinča, which will completely move cargo transport out of Belgrade, Antić stated.
The Zemun-Borča bridge will be 1,507 m long, 29.1 m wide and 22.8 m tall. It will contain 6 motor vehicle lanes and pedestrian and bicycle lanes on both sides. Its access roads will be 21.6 km long.
The work on the bridge started in late October 2011. The main contractor is the China Road and Bridge Corporation.
The construction of the bridge costs EUR 170 million, and 85 percent of the figure comes from the Chinese Exim Bank, while the remaining 15 percent will be supplied by the government of Serbia and the city of Belgrade.
The total value of the bridge with its access roads is USD 260 million.
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