Serbia finalized Corridor 10: Section of the Eastern fork towards the Bulgarian border officially released for traffic, highway through the gorge as a runway
The ceremony is attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Bulgarian Prime Minister Bojko Borisov, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, as well as representatives of the governments of the two countries, foreign creditors and companies that took part in the road works on this section.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov addressed the public first.
“The Bulgarian industry will use this highway as a whole to market its goods to Europe. Let Serbia be happy, I want you to use it in health”, Borisov said at the opening.
After Borisov, folklore ensembles from Eastern Serbia had a performance, and then President Vucic addressed the audience.
“I want to thank all the citizens for coming today in such great numbers. Thank you for loving our Serbia”, Vucic said, then thanked Borisov and Milorad Dodik.
“Happiness is a word not strong enough to describe how I feel today. When we started changing our country a few years ago, this was what I wanted. The dream was hundreds of miles of modern roads. This is a miracle. We have done more miles than in the previous 40 years. We have made them in order for our citizens to use to return from Europe to our country, to make economic progress, to open new factories, to protect our citizens”, Vucic said.
Vucic also referred to connecting Bulgaria and Serbia through the pipeline.
“Today, I see happy people here on Corridor 10. We will not stop here. We will continue to build without ceasing, to make this country better,” Vucic said, then thanked the highway builders, Serbian government representatives and relevant companies that took part in the road works.
“We have worked hard and fought hard, and we are making rapid progress. We are celebrating these 87 km that divide Nis from Gradina, and note that the last section of Corridor 10 is finished. We can now reach the border with Croatia in less than 4 hours. This is a transit corridor from Central Europe to Turkey, and further to the Middle East. This will mean a lot for our people, because we lost more people in the Sicevacka Gorge than in the wars of the 1990s”, Vucic said.
He also urged all young people who left the country to consider returning – he told them that this was their country, and that they should return “to make our Serbian dream come true”. He added that investors would come here and that new industrial zones would be opened, so people would be able to work. Also, it will be easier to place the products abroad from here, the Serbian President continued.
President Vucic emphasized that we must rely on our own strengths but also build friendship. Vucic emphasized friendship with Bulgaria. He commented on Borisov’s statement that Serbia now has its ports in this country. He also said that Bulgaria could count on having its cities in Serbia.
Vucic then addressed Borisov in Bulgarian, and the crowd applauded him strongly. Borisov returned to the stage, where they warmly embraced one another.
Around the tunnel on “slope 6” there were banners with the signs “Serbia connects Europe”, “Responsibly towards the goal”, “Building towards the future”, “The path of victory”, “The path of success” … Citizens carried Serbian flags and a large banner “The future of Serbia”, “Nis is from Vucic”, with a picture of the Serbian President, because, as they say, there would be no highway without him.
As President Vucic announced yesterday, until December 1, driving along the Eastern fork of Corridor 10 will be free of charge, and then on December 19, a section of the highway Milos the Great, from Surcin to Obrenovac, 17.6 km long, will be opened.
The total length of the entire Corridor 10 in Serbia is about 813 kilometers long, and its Eastern fork from Nis to Dimitrovgrad, is 86.9 kilometers long in total.
The section on the Eastern fork of Corridor 10, which opened today, is located between the Prosek settlement and the Red River. It is total 22.5 kilometers long (Prosek-Bancarevo 9.4 km, Bancarevo tunnel about 700 m, Bancarevo-Crvena Reka 12.4 km).
87 bridges, five tunnels (Bancarevo, Sopot, Sarlah, Przojna slope, Progon – total length 2.6 km), five traffic loops, 12.5 million cubic meters of excavated land, embankment of 9.5 million cubic meters of material and approximately 780,000 tons of asphalt were used on the entire Eastern fork from Nis to Dimitrovgrad.
The Bancarevo tunnel, which is also being released for traffic today, is equipped with state-of-the-art systems that allow for safe traffic, and all these systems are managed by trained teams from the unique Technical and Operational Center, located near the Bancarevo tunnel, from which traffic to two more tunnels on the Eastern fork is monitored – Sopot and Sarlah.
The total value of the construction of the Eastern fork of Corridor 10 is estimated at around € 476 million, including additional works carried out as a result of project changes.
The Eastern fork of Corridor 10 connects Serbia with Bulgaria, but it is also important as a transit corridor through which traffic between Central Europe and Turkey to the Middle East takes place.
This highway will connect two districts, Nis and Pirot districts, with about 450,000 people residing there, large economic centers in this part of Serbia, it will provide easier connection of Eastern Serbia to the nearest airport “Constantine the Great” in Nis, as well as better connection with tourist destinations in to this part of Serbia, such as Stara Planina.
In addition to connecting Serbia with EU countries, the highway is also important for greater safety in relation to highways, as well as for the preservation of the Sicevacka Gorge National Park.
The construction of the Eastern fork of Corridor 10 had begun in 2010.