The construction of about forty kilometers of the Montenegrin highway, i.e. the priority section from Smokovac to Mateševo, lasted, with all the delays, for almost seven years, and during all that time the state did not prepare a project for the construction of the second section, which should connect our country with Serbia, which has stalled the economic profitability of the largest construction project in Montenegro, which cost over one billion euros.
This was confirmed to Dan by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Vladimir Joković.
– Serbia will go to Boljare sooner than Montenegro. During all this time of the construction of the first section of the highway, we did not design the continuation, that is, we should only work on the project from Mateševo to Andrijevica, instead of it being prepared for the next phase when this section was built – said Joković at the time.
The government recently adopted the Monteput work plan for this year, which plans the completion of preliminary projects for the Mateševo-Andrijevica and Farmaci-Smokovac highway sections, as well as the start of technical preparation work and the development of the main projects for these two sections. Also, it is expected to start the development of the conceptual project of the section Andrijevica-Berana-Boljare, with a length of 50 kilometers, which represents the last section of the highway to the border with Serbia, with the definition of financing methods.
The government announced earlier that the next section of the highway to be built is Mateševo-Andrijevica. Before the pandemic, the share price was supposed to be 273 million, and last year the estimated share price increased by 100 million.
The Ministry of Capital Investments was asked at the beginning of this week about the project for that section, but the answers did not arrive.
The priority section from Smokovac to Mateševo was put into traffic in the middle of last year. That section was built on the basis of the conceptual, not the main, project. Many people said at the time that it was necessary to do the main project and build that section based on it.
Given that the price of the Mateševo-Andrijevica section has been known for a long time and that the Government has said that it will build the next one, it was realistic to expect that we would have a project for that section.
Unlike Montenegro, Serbia builds a highway every year and is slowly getting closer to Montenegro. Back in 2016, the 40-kilometer Ljig-Preljina section was opened, while the section from Obrenovac to Čačak was completed in August 2019. The section from Preljina to Požega is still under construction, and the deadline for its completion was scheduled for January 2023. The value of the works for this section of about thirty kilometers is EUR 450 million. After the completion of this part, Serbia has to complete, according to experts, perhaps the most difficult section of this road, 107 kilometers from Požega to the Montenegrin border.
The goal of Montenegro Is to build a highway from Bar to Boljare, which would continue to the highway through Serbia.
The story of merging highways is half a century old
The project of joining Serbia and the Montenegrin coast dates back to 1976, but it was not seriously considered until after 2006. Before entering the CRBC business, construction deals with Croatian and Greek-Israeli consortiums failed due to failure to provide bank guarantees. Feasibility studies from the West indicated the unprofitability of the project due to the low traffic flow and the size of the country of only 650,000 inhabitants. Then China entered the story, that is, its bank and the contractor, and a loan of 800 million USD was taken. At that time, the West warned that Montenegro was threatened with debt slavery because of the road that leads “from nowhere to nothing”.