Home > Projects > Contents

Feature: "Thanks" from Croatians for Chinese-built Peljesac Bridge

Updated: July 27, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
fontLarger fontSmaller

KOMARNA, Croatia, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The 2.4-km-long Peljesac Bridge that connects Croatia's mainland with the Peljesac Peninsula on the country's southern Adriatic coast was inaugurated one year ago, on July 26, 2022. The bridge has significantly improved people's lives, cut travel time to the Adriatic coast and increased economic opportunities for the region.

It was constructed by a Chinese consortium led by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and was largely funded by the European Union (EU).

"I just want to say one big, one enormous 'thank you' for building this bridge. And thank you for giving me a chance to work together with you," Josipa Borovic, a local resident who used to help procurement and logistics during the construction of the Peljesac Bridge project, told Xinhua.

"All of my Chinese colleagues were really good people, so I am really proud to be involved in such a big project with such a big company. It was a big chance for me," Borovic said, adding that thanks to the work experience at the Peljesac Bridge project, she has received offers from other big companies.

According to CRBC Manager Lu Shengwei, more than 250 locals were employed by the Peljesac Bridge project, along with 18 design consulting companies, 45 construction companies from the EU, and 112 equipment and material suppliers from Croatia, Germany, Poland and other countries.

Borovic's appreciation for the bridge was echoed by Stipe Kapo, a local resident who lives near the bridge and rents out apartments to tourists during the summer season.

The Peljesac Bridge is "a great accomplishment" of the Chinese builders Kapo said. The bridge has 14 piers, ten of which are in the sea, and building them was a challenging and complicated process.

The bridge reaches across the Mali Ston Bay and connects the Croatian mainland with the Peljesac Peninsula, bypassing a short strip of land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina and giving Croatia better access to the area. It now takes a three-minute drive to cross the strait for Dubrovnik.

"I want to thank the Chinese builders, they are very good, pleasant, and they work really hard," Kapo said, noting that the Chinese builders used to work in three shifts a day, meaning that the project was once under construction 24 hours a day.

In addition to being strategically significant as well as boosting the regional transportation and economy, the bridge has also attracted more tourists to the area and brought more benefits to local people like Kapo.

"Whenever I advertise my apartments for rent on social media, the first thing is to announce that they are near the bridge," as it means so much for the Croatians and it is so famous across Europe and even the world, Kapo said.

"I would like to thank the Chinese constructors. Many people here think that the bridge would have never been finished if it were not for the Chinese constructors," Vedran Antunica, mayor of the Ston Municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County administrating the Peljesac Bridge, told Xinhua.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who had visited the construction site of the Peljesac Bridge six times before its opening, has hailed the bridge as an example of bilateral cooperation between Croatia and China.

For many Croatians, this project has not only been an icon of friendship and cooperation between Croatia and China, but also a chance to get to know better about the Chinese builders.

In the eyes of Barna Denes, who lives near the bridge, the Chinese builders are "quick, professional, quiet and magnificent." Zeljana Devenica, another local resident, told Xinhua that they are "nice, warm, kind" and they enjoyed sports, including swimming, running, tennis and football, just like the Croatians do.

Borovic said she hopes the CRBC could get another big project in Croatia so that she could work with the Chinese colleagues once again. Working with them is "a really good experience," she said.Enditem

Editor: Duan Jing