NewsInfrastructure remains a stumbling block, can Montenegro have two new highways and...

Infrastructure remains a stumbling block, can Montenegro have two new highways and four expressways by 2030?

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Montenegro is a country that relies on tourism and strives (or at least should strive) to become a year-round destination. There is constant talk about the significant potential for the development of luxury tourism, and the market for luxury real estate is already “alive” and growing from year to year. This is also contributed to by resorts in the Bay of Kotor, and the number of global hotel brands is increasing both on the coast and in the north of the country.

We aim to attract foreign investors, and the size of the country and the possibility of being in the mountains one day and then enjoying the sea in a very short time frame are seen as comparative advantages. However, when the season arrives, all these plans fall apart because it becomes more apparent than ever that Montenegro lacks the most basic thing – infrastructure.

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The first section of the highway was opened in 2022, while the next ones are yet to be designed and then constructed. The reconstruction of the main road from Kolašin to Mateševo is indeed completed, but the one from Berane to Kolašin, via Lubnice and Jezerine, has been under construction for seven years now. It was supposed to be completed in three. Even the first section of the highway was awaited quite a bit, with deadlines being postponed several times, so it’s no wonder that everyone is skeptical about Prime Minister Milojko Spajić’s announcements that Montenegro will have both highways and four expressways built by 2030.

Events at the end of last year and the beginning of this year are promising. First, a public call was announced for conceptual solutions for the intersection of the Bar-Boljare highway with the Adriatic-Ionian highway and the expressway in the area of Paštrovačka Gora. This was followed by a tender for the conceptual design of the Andrijevica-Berane-Boljare highway section and then for the conceptual solution of the expressway section from Herceg Novi to Budva.

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It should be noted that the situation is not ideal at Montenegrin airports either, and the government promises to address this issue. Approval has been given to continue the second phase of the tender for the concession of the airports, and the final decision will be made, as announced, by summer. Possible options include a contract with one of the existing bidders, a new tender, or development or modernization with our own resources.

Whether Montenegro will indeed have adequate infrastructure by 2030 and whether the ambitious plans will be realized remains to be seen. Until then, we present you with transportation projects that eKapija has covered, attracting the most attention from our readers.

Continuation of Highway Construction

Logically, this project has once again found itself at the top of our list. We welcomed the first section, and now the question arises of when the next ones will be built. There have been several announcements, and we have heard that Mateševo-Andrijevica is the next section to be constructed, with the tender expected to be announced in 2025.

Also, in the request for approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by the former Ministry of Capital Investments to the Environmental Protection Agency, we could see that the highway section from Mateševo to Andrijevica will be approximately 23.5 kilometers long. It will mostly pass through mountainous terrain, and the projected speed on this section is 100 km/h. The future highway section starts near Mateševo, at an altitude of about 1,000 meters, then follows the Drcka valley, a tributary of the Tara River. From Mateševo upstream, the terrain rises up to Trešnjevika, reaching an altitude of 1,686 m. The highway then passes through the Trešnjevik tunnel and enters the valley of the Kraštica River, a tributary of the Lim River. From Trešnjevika, the terrain descends downstream through the valley of the Kraštica River to its confluence with the Lim River, reaching an altitude of about 770 meters.

The section includes two interchanges at Andrijevica and Mateševo, 34 bridges, underpasses, overpasses, a double tunnel, box culverts, and circular culverts on the highway, a highway maintenance base, toll booths, a rest area with a gas station and service station, two motels in Mateševo and Andrijevica, and gas stations on both sides in Andrijevica.

At the end of the year, Prime Minister Milojko Spajić presented ambitious plans for Montenegro to complete the construction of both highways and four expressways by the end of 2030. He announced the opening of public calls for conceptual solutions for all roadways at the beginning of this year, and we have heard several times that the tender for the continuation of the next highway section can be expected in 2024.

Air Park Berane

The valorization of the airport in Berane has been talked about for a long time, but the first concrete indications happened just last year. Indeed, the German company Elite-private Jet Service showed interest in the Berane airport, and the opening of two factories was announced. In early April, a memorandum of cooperation was signed with a potential investor, and as announced, the plan is to develop the first innovative, self-sustainable airport of the future. The total investment is estimated at 75 million EUR, with 45 million earmarked for investment in the airport itself.

After that, there were announcements that the reconstruction of the airport would begin by the end of 2023, but that did not happen.

In October, a tender was announced for the selection of a consultant to provide services for the preparation and preparation of an analysis of the feasibility of public-private partnership for the valorization of Air Park Berane.

As recently announced, the job was awarded to the company Ernst & Young from Belgrade, and the results of the indicated analysis are expected soon, which will show whether the valorization of the airport in Berane will proceed through a public-private partnership.

Adriatic-Ionian Highway

This highway is already the third time in our retrospective of investments, which shows that there has been more talk about the project than concrete steps taken.

However, at the end of the year, Monteput announced a tender for the conceptual design for the intersection of the Bar-Boljare highway with the Adriatic-Ionian highway and the expressway in the Paštrovačka Gora area. The conceptual design analyzes an alternative corridor for the Bar-Boljare highway from Podgorica to the Sozina tunnel, bypassing the protected area of the Skadar Lake National Park. Additionally, it examines the route of the Adriatic-Ionian highway from the broader area of Čevo to the intersection zone with the Bar-Boljare highway, as well as integration with the expressway along the Montenegrin coast in the Paštrovačka Gora area.

As stated in the project task, considering the limitations related to the Skadar Lake National Park area, it is necessary to explore a variant that completely bypasses the protected area.

  • In this regard, to analyze the variant of “descending” the Adriatic-Ionian highway from the Čevo interchange to the potential grade-separated intersection with the new section of the Bar-Boljare highway from the Tološi interchange to the Gradac area. The highway would then proceed from the Gradac interchange to the intersection with the alternative of the expressway bypassing Paštrovačka Gora, in the Građani zone. After this interchange, it is necessary to examine the corridor by which the Bar-Boljare highway would “return” to the existing semi-highway route, in the area between the Raš tunnel and the intersection of the highway with the existing M2.4 main road – among other things stated in the document.

Tivat-Jaz Boulevard

The construction of the boulevard from Tivat to Jaz is one of the most important projects, considering it is the busiest road on the coast. The construction contract was signed at the end of March, and the most favorable offer in the amount of 53.9 million EUR was given by the Chinese consortium Shandong Foreign Economic & Technical Cooperation Co. Ltd & Shandong Luqiao Group Co Ltd through an international tender.

The Traffic Administration obtained approval for preparatory work in the summer, and the reconstruction of the main road began on August 11. At the end of the month, it was announced that the works on this section were interrupted due to unresolved property and legal relations.

Construction of the road continued in January of this year, and as announced, the works are expected to be completed within two years.

The total length of the section is 16 kilometers. The reconstruction entails the construction of a modern boulevard-type road with two traffic lanes in each direction, sidewalks on both sides throughout its length, and a median. As part of the reconstruction project, a new pipeline for the Regional Water Supply of the Montenegrin Coast will be built, and the works also include the reconstruction and construction of five bridges, as well as complete traffic signaling and public lighting.

Bus Station Herceg Novi

Once again, the project for the construction of the bus station in Herceg Novi is on our list. The tender was announced in February of last year, and the job was awarded to the company Entext. The contract with the contractor was signed in May, and shortly thereafter, construction began. The opening of the bus station is expected in March 2025.

The project for the bus station was developed by the Agency for Construction and Development of the City and involves the construction of a station building and square with accompanying parking and road, on a plot near the Adriatic Highway. The complex is designed as a unified functional entity consisting of facilities in the bus station area, bus space and platforms, as well as the station square area, and all amenities are interconnected into an ambient whole.

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