Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn have officially opened the Zezelj Bridge in Novi Sad. The bridge opened for road traffic on Saturday, September 1, 2018. Back in March, it opened for rail traffic. The full price of the bridge is EUR 54 million, and more than a half of the money was provided by the European Union.
After 19 years, the Zezelj Bridge is finally available in its full capacity to the people of Novi Sad. It features five columns, is 474 meters long and 31.45 meters wide. It accommodates rail and road traffic and has pedestrian and cycling lanes.
Vucic and Hahn shook hands by the info panel, following which they removed the plastic barriers at the entrance to the bridge, thereby symbolically opening the road lane.
Hahn said that he could not imagine a better symbol than a bridge to describe the Euro integration process.
– European integration entails the building of bridges between citizens, peoples, the past and the future – Hahn said, pointing out that the bridge was a symbol of Serbia’s European future.
– We are standing shoulder to shoulder today, as partners. Serbia is advancing toward the EU with our full support. We are building bridges with you, not for you – Hahn said.
As he reminded, the bridge is the key connection in the trans-European rail network and will enable sailing down the Novi Sad section of the Danube, while at the same time allowing for road and rail traffic at full capacity.
Hahn pointed out that the bridge was a part of the strategic European Corridor 10 and that the EU had provided grants in the amount of EUR 35 million.
– The funding of the fridge is only a small part of the help the EU provides to Serbia. Since 2007, we have given EUR 2.2 billion in grants to Serbia, and the amount will reach EUR 3 billion in 2020. These are not loans under certain conditions, but grants provided to Serbia to the end of improving the quality of life for citizens in various fields, from education, through consumer rights, cleaner environment, protection of children’s right, to support to farmers – Hahn noted.
President Vucic thanked Hahn for the help the EU provided for the construction of the bridge.
Mayor of Novi Sad Milos Vucevic told RTS earlier that there were plans to also build new bridges in the city.