Shav­ing hours off travel time

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel -

A SMALL sliver of Bos­nian ter­ri­tory that juts into the Adri­atic means Croa­t­ian ter­ri­tory is split in two, cre­at­ing a lengthy de­tour for tourists trav­el­ling along the coast.

A 2.4km bridge will take ad­van­tage of the fact that the Bos­nian coast is at the end of a nar­row chan­nel made by a Croa­t­ian penin­sula.

When com­pleted in 2022, the bridge should shave hours off the travel time to the south­ern re­sort of Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adri­atic, as trav­ellers will no longer need to make a bor­der cross­ing.

Tourism is a ma­jor in­dus­try for Croa­tia, with the nearly 16 mil­lion vis­i­tors that the for­mer Yu­goslav na­tion wel­comed last year far out­strip­ping its pop­u­la­tion of 4.2 mil­lion.

Most tourists vis­ited the stun­ning Adri­atic coast, with more than 1,000 is­lands and islets which served as a lo­ca­tion for nu­mer­ous scenes in the award-win­ning HBO se­ries Game Of Thrones.

The Euro­pean Union, which Croa­tia joined in 2013, is fi­nanc­ing 85% of the bridge project.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and EU Funds Min­is­ter Gabri­jela Zalac, who signed the deal in Brussels, hailed it as a “his­toric mo­ment for both Croa­tia and the EU”.

“We are fi­nally on the path ... to com­pletely link Croa­tia’s ter­ri­tory, which will also se­cure the con­ti­nu­ity of EU’s ter­ri­tory,” Zalac said, ac­cord­ing to her min­istry state­ment.

Croa­tia started build­ing the bridge in 2007, but the project was halted due to bud­getary con­straints. Last Wed­nes­day, the EU ap­proved 357mil eu­ros (RM1.7bil) in fi­nanc­ing. – AFP Re­laxnews

Croa­tia is build­ing a bridge that links two parts of its Adri­atic coast­line, due to be com­pleted in 2022. — AFP Re­laxnews

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