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Bridge across Ada already in 2011 – City to borrow additional EUR 90m

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The bridge across Ada Ciganlija and part of the access roads to that bridge will be opened for traffic by the end of 2011. Complete works on the bridge, including the most complicated cloverleaf interchange – Radnicka, will be finished in 2013.

The City Assembly decided yesterday that the City should take out an additional loan of 90 million euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and spend it on the construction of access roads to the new bridge. The loan will be paid in maximum 10 tranches amounting to minimum 5 million euros each. The final deadline for disposal of the loan is December 31, 2014, the grace period is five years, and the City will be able to choose whether to pay fixed or floating interest every time it withdraws a new tranche.

Mayor Dragan Djilas pointed out that the bridge across Ada with access roads was the most important infrastructure project in the city, as well as that “various authorities had been replacing each others for 40 years and none of them started construction of the bridge, let alone finished it”.

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– According to the contract, the bridge costs 120 million euros and it is being built at that price. The construction is in accordance with the rules of the European development and investment banks, which control everything – said Djilas.

Access roads in New Belgrade will stretch all the way to Tosin Bunar and intersect the cloverleaf interchanges in Jurija Gagarina Street, in the vicinity of “Flea Market” and Agostina Neta Street. Their total length will be 2.8 km.

– The plan is that access roads expand in a capillary way in the years to come. On the side of Cukarica, a cloverleaf interchange is under construction near Hippodrome, extending from Patrijarha Pavle Boulevard, while the end of the tunnel planned to be built beneath Senjak should be at Autokomanda. Construction of the other cloverleaf interchange, in Radnicka Street, is highly complicated. It will be accepting the traffic from both Patrijarha Pavla Boulevard and the tunnel beneath Senjak and direct it to Pozeska Street – said Djilas.

Once the works are finished, the total length of access roads on the side of Cukarica will be 2.1 kilometers, while the length of the bridge is 1,000 meters.

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– At first, the plan was that the project be financed from the city budget, but, unfortunately, the budgets for the previous two years were 300 million euros smaller because of the crisis. All loans we have taken out are with the grace period of 3 to 5 years and the interest rate of 2% on annual basis, and they are all incomparably more favorable than the ones offered by commercial banks. With the current budget of over 500 million euros, Belgrade is able to repay the loans – said Djilas, pointing out that the bridge is also being built for the needs of future generations for the next 100 and more years.

The opposition in the City Assembly, the board members of SRS and DSS-NS, criticized the city authorities yesterday for taking out a new loan, claiming that the City is getting in debt without control and that the costs of construction of the bridge and access roads will exceed 400 million euros. People at DSS say that “three simpler bridges could have been bought for that money”, while people at SRS point out that access roads are more expensive than the bridge “primarily because the City chose the wrong location”.

(Note: complete text is taken over from daily paper Blic of November 12, 2010)


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