Construction of a tunnel underneath Kragujevac, which is supposed to be the longest and the most modern tunnel in Serbia, should commence in spring 2010. This project, in which the state will invest over 15m EUR, is one of Serbia's obligations towards Italian company "Fiat". The tunnel 1.5 km long, which is also the most important part of the southern bypass around the city, must be finished prior to the end of year 2011 in order for the strategic partner of Serbian automobile industry to have all the necessary conditions to start production of vehicles in the center of Šumadija according to the latest technology.
Nebojša Vasiljević, a member of the city council for development of resources, told "Blic" that "the plans for construction of the tunnel were made long time ago, they are currently being audited in the Belgrade-based Institute for Roads, and all the details concerning realization of the works will be known by the end of September".
- The project is already in the hands of Chinese national company "Bridges and Roads", which also built the bridge 36 km long in Shangai's port. The representatives of the Government of Serbia will travel to China in October to talk about the details of the project in Serbia. A good thing is that Chinese national Export Bank has expressed interest in this project, and it has already announced some very favorable terms for crediting the whole project. Namely, it is possible that the state of Serbia will be granted the grace period of five years and repayment period of 15 years with the interest rate of 1.2%-1.5%, which is more favorable than any other bank would offer - says Nebojša Vasiljević.
Is the tunnel going to have one tube or two, we will know after the project is audited, but it will definitely be the most modern underground junction in Serbia. It will have minimum four lanes, side exits and venting systems. As "Blic" learned in the City Assembly, "part of the land has already been bought from the citizens, but it still needs to be determined if more houses will have to be torn down".
- If the tunnel through Bresničko hill and Pivarsko hill needs to be made according to the principle of wide digging, then all the tenants in the houses all the way to Jovana Ristića Street will have to be moved out. If the tunnel is built according to the principle of drilling by means of special machines, which is more probable option, these citizens will not have to move out. The plan is that the digging works start on both sides at the same time. "Fiat" plans to use southern bypass as the entrance for all parts and components that are necessary for production of automobiles, while the northern gate will be used as exit for shipment of ready-made vehicles to the market. That is necessary for the production circle, which is required for modern industry - says Nebojša Vasiljević.
(Note: complete text is taken over from newspaper "Blic" of August 15, 2009)