With the construction of the Morava Corridor from Preljina to Pojate, Serbia will get a “digital” highway, with modern optical and digital cables, free internet and notifications for drivers, stated the deputy prime minister and minister of construction of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic, announcing that the commercial contract with the Bechtel-Enca consortium will be put before the government within around fifteen days.
– If the Government of Serbia decides to accept the commercial contract, we can expect the works to begin by the end of September at the latest, in the Krusevac area – Mihajlovic told Tanjug.
She says that Bechtel has obliged to complete the highway within two and a half years.
She reminded that the government had selected the partner for the construction of the 112-km Morava Corridor and pointed out that it would directly connect an area with a populace of at least half a million people, along the Cacak-Kraljevo-Vrnjacka Banja-Trstenik-Krusevac-Stalac-Cicevac route.
The Morava Corridor will also connect Corridor 10 and the Milos Veliki highway.
– We will start the talks about the finalization of the commercial contract with the strategic partner. We expect the commercial contract to be ready to be put before the Government of Serbia within around 15 days. We have defined a negotiation platform, which will also be put before the Government of Serbia – Mihajlovic said.
The highway will connect the country internally much more than any corridor and is strategically important for development, investments, the creation of new jobs and the future of Serbia, Mihajlovic emphasized.
The special characteristic of the corridor, she said, is that this is the first time for the state to be building a highway which contains three projects.
– In addition to the construction of the highway, a full telecommunications network will be done and that's why we're calling it a smart or digital highway – Mihajlovic says.
The minister adds that it is very important for the citizens of this part of Serbia that the flow of the Morava river and its tributaries will be regulated, as this is a flooding area.
– These problems have occurred. There was a flood in 2014 and later on, but it will not happen anymore. This is a complete project – Mihajlovic emphasized.
As she adds, the highway will bring more investments and a much safer traffic. When asked whether the highway will be called “Car Lazar” as reported by some media, Mihajlovic said that she had heard that that was proposed in Krusevac and that the government would consider citizens' propositions and adopt what they want.
Mihajlovic points out that domestic companies will have an opportunity to learn about new technologies, which will be implemented in the project, as the highway will be built in an entirely different way.
The construction of the highway and the TC corridor, the river regulation and other activities will be carried out simultaneously, whereby all the problems that accompanied the construction of other routes, Corridor 10, for example, will be avoided.
– We now hove some of the best companies in the world, which will build this highway together with our companies – Mihajlovic emphasized.
The construction of the TC corridor along the highway entails state-of-the-art optical and digital cables, free Wi-Fi stations, the most modern traffic control, the so-called intelligent transport systems and other features. This will allow all participants in the traffic to announce what's happening on the road, for example, whether there's a congestion and whether the traffic needs to be redirected.
The Bechtel-Enca consortium was the sole bidder
at the public invitation for a strategic partner for the construction of the Morava Corridor.
The future highway, which will be 112 kilometers long and 30 meters wide, will feature a total of 139 structures, namely, 84 bridges, 26 overpasses and three underpasses, as well as 10 interchanges.
The Ministry of Construction signed the memorandum of understanding on the construction of the Morava Corridor with the American-Turkish consortium Bechtel-Enca in October 2018, and the value of the works is estimated at around EUR 800 million.