Belgrade-Bar Railway Reconstruction to Start in 2019
Reconstruction of Belgrade-Bar railway will begin next year, and most real deadline for completion of works is 2021, said Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic.
After the meeting in Podgorica with Montenegrian Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Osman Nurkovic, she signed the Memorandum of Understanding and cooperation on the realization of infrastructure projects between the two countries. Mihajlovic and Nurkovic stressed the importance of further regional cooperation both through existing and new projects.
Vice-president of Serbian Government said that, after more than 30 years Serbia reconstructed a first section of Belgrade-Bar railway, between Resnik and Valjevo, 77.6 kilometers in length, and that project documentation is being prepared for continuation of reconstruction, on sections between Valjevo and border with Montenegro.
– Reconstruction must begin next year, after the project-technical documentation is completed. There are a lot of issues connected to the tunnels and alike, that is why it will last throughout this year, and that is why 2021 is the most realistic deadline – said Ms Mihajlovic.
She spoke of importance of removal of non-physical barriers along with reconstruction of infrastructure, through projects like the creation of joint border crossings, that will be created in Bijelo Polje, and said that it is unacceptable for cargo trains to hold for eight and more hours at the border with Montenegro.
Answering the journalist’s question if Serbia is interested in participating in the privatization of the Port of Bar, she explained that Serbia has inland ports that it develops according to the Government plan, but she also stated the importance of Port of Bar and Serbia’s connection to the sea.
– Port of Bar is of great importance for us. Despite talking earlier about the privatization of that port, the talks were not intensified. Currently we are more focused on railway and road network, and we will see in the meantime how Montenegro itself develops that port – said Mihajlovic.
Minister Nurkovic said that so far Montenegro has reconstructed more than 40% of Bar-Belgrade railway on its territory, and has secured additional 70 million EUR from grants and credits to invest in the continued reconstruction.
– Our goal is to have a quality railway connection and better railway transport between Serbia and Montenegro – said Nurkovic
Minister Mihajlovic started her visit to Montenegro by visiting the construction site of the Moracica bridge, on the Smokovci-Matesevo section of Corridor XI through Montenegro.
Serbia will continue the construction of Corridor XI to Pozega and further, to Boljare, on which it will intensively cooperate with Montenegro, as infrastructure connections are a safe way for improved life of citizens of whole region – said Zorana Mihajlovic.
She announced the creation of joint commission that will determine the point of connection of Corridor XI sections between Serbia and Montenegro.
– There is no reason for anyone to doubt Serbia’s dedication to construct this highway. Until the end of this year, we will finish 103 kilometers between Obrenovac and Preljina, and in March we will begin works on Preljina-Pozega section, and in the next year I hope we will have project documentation and possibility to begin talks on commercial contract for the last section, Pozega-Boljari, and to start works in approximately two years – said Mihajlovic.