The final section of the highway on the south leg of Corridor 10 through Serbia, the 26.3-km section in the Grdelica Gorge, opened for traffic on Saturday, May 18.
The highway was opened at a ceremony by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, at the Vrla bridge, which was lit in the colors of the Serbian flag. The ceremony was attended by numerous citizens, members of the Government of Serbia, the diplomatic corps, representatives of local self-governments and districts, business people and other guests.
– The south leg of Corridor 10 proves that we can overcome all difficulties. This will be not just a good transit route, but also an important route for future investors, thanks to the lower costs of transport, but also for the people themselves, especially in the Pcinja and Jablanica districts – Vucic said.
With the opening of this section, Serbia now has a highway stretching from the north to the south, along the entire main route of Corridor 10, from Batrovci on the Croatian border to Presevo on the Macedonian border, as well as the north leg from Horgos to the south.
On a total of 26.3 km, on a very difficult terrain, nine large slopes were overcome successfully, the Predejane interchange was built, as were two tunnels – Predejane and Manajle, in the total length of 2.8 km, as well as 36 bridges. Six kilometers of the South Morava river bed were regulated. With the opening of this part of Corridor 10, a trip from Nis to Thessaloniki will take around three hours.
The south leg of Corridor 10 through the Grdelica Gorge is also unique for its Predejane interchange, the only such structure in Serbia and the Balkans to be raised entirely on bridge structures above a river.
Corridor 10 is one of the most important pan-European traffic corridors passing through Serbia. It connects Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece and its construction began in 1970 in the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The highway route through the Grdelica Gorge was the most difficult section of the south leg of Corridor 10, whose value amounts to EUR 350 million. The project of the construction of the highway was financed through loans by the European Investment Bank and, partially, the World Bank.