Disassembly of Old Sava Bridge and preparatory works for construction of tunnel to begin in June – People of Belgrade to face major traffic jams

Source: eKapija Tuesday, 21.05.2024. 12:10
(Photo: Beograd.rs)
It seems that there will be no additional deadline extensions for the several-times-announced-and-postponed demolition of the Old Sava Bridge in Belgrade. Because, as the president of the Temporary Organ of Belgrade, Aleksandar Sapic, announced, the removal of the green arch bridge on the Sava is to start in early June. Simultaneously, that is, at the beginning of next month, according to Sapic, the works on the tunnel from the Faculty of Economics to Palilula will start. That tunnel, which has been in the city plans for decades, will go underground in Despota Stefana Blvd, the other end of the tunnel will be in the zone of the Faculty of Economics, and the tunnel will be around two kilometers long in total. It will have two tunnel tubes and two lanes in each of them.

As Sapic pointed out while visiting the location in Despota Stefana Blvd where the construction of the tunnel is to start, when it comes to the tunnel, the preparatory works for that job will start in June. The value of the construction of the tunnel is EUR 235 million, the financier is the Government of Serbia, the project leader is the Belgrade Land Development Public Agency, and the construction agreement was signed in November 2023, Beoinfo reminds. Sapic emphasized that the project according to which plenty of facilities near the Faculty of Economics were to be demolished had been changed and that, according to the new project, the tunnel, to be built by Power Construction Corporation of China, would go underground in that location. The expectations, he added, are that the mole should start the tunnel boring activities sometime next year.
(Photo: srbija2027.gov.rs)

When it comes to the removal of the old bridge and the preparations for the construction of a new one, Sapic said that “according to the initial plan, the traffic was supposed to be closed, but the city couldn’t afford it,” so a temporary traffic route will be created from Vladimira Popovica Street toward Branko’s Bridge, from where the traffic will function normally. Sapic also reminded that the lower part of Balkanska Street had become a two-way street.

– That was done in order to bridge the period while the works are being done, and so that the residents around Sava Centar, the Usce shopping center and the blocks would have the alternative of crossing the river to Nemanjina Street. Special bus lines within the public transport system will also be organized, going through Branko’s Bridge into Gavrila Principa Street and merging into Nemanjina Street through Balkanska Street, from where the passengers can take a tram. There is no doubt that Branko’s Bridge will be overloaded – Sapic pointed out.

According to the project, the statics of the new bridge entail a double steel arch, and the steel structure will rest on six reinforced-concrete columns, two of them in the river. The planned height of the river columns is 23 m and 15 m. The bridge is to have two driving lanes of 6.5 m, a tram corridor in the middle, 8 m wide, and sidewalks of 3.3 m on both sides, which also include bicycle lanes.

As was announced on the “Srbija2027” website last winter, the construction of the bridge should be completed in 2027, and the construction of the tunnel in 2030. Even disregarding these deadlines, it is clear that the people of Belgrade and all those who visit the capital city will have to take into account major additional traffic jams and gridlocks in a part of the city in which, even with the currently functioning Old Sava Bridge, traffic jams are an everyday occurrence. One doesn’t need to be a traffic expert to be able to predict what its removal will mean for the everyday traffic across the Sava until the new bridge is finished.

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