After eight years and 600 million euros, Bochvarski announced the opening of the first section of the Kichevo-Ohrid highway in August
The right side of the highway section from Trebenishta to Ohrid is expected to be completely completed and released in early August, and the left by the end of the year, announced today the Minister of Transport and Communications Blagoj Bochvarski.
He inspected the construction activities of the subdivision, 8,5 km before Ohrid, and informed that the final asphalt works are in progress. Today, 320 tons of asphalt will be installed - first layer, and tomorrow the asphalt works will be intensified by installing 900 tons of asphalt per day. Such activities will continue throughout the construction season on all 57km of the highway, worth 598m euros. In the field, along the entire route, as Bochvarski said, there are more than 700 workers and over 280 construction machines. The total progress of the construction works is 70 percent.
The Minister of Transport said that the deadline for construction of the highway must be met, pointing out that they constantly have meetings with the contractor and supervision, coordinate and undertake all activities, which, as he said, is slowly approaching the deadlines. - I want to assure the whole public that this highway section is a top priority and there are no calculations, neither I nor the Government, nor the Ministry of Transport and Communications, nor the Public Enterprise for State Roads, do not accept further extension of construction deadlines. We have a deadline and it must be respected by the contractors, said Bochvarski. According to him, the other subdivisions of the junctions and the tunnel, which is in the final phase, are being actively worked on. A complete redesign of 25 percent of the entire route has been done, and the Ministry has approved the necessary 70 infrastructure projects and now, he emphasized, we have a clean field for work.
Additionally, the Minister pointed out, procedures are being conducted and parallel access roads are being built with connection to the existing facilities in a length of about 30 km. A control center is being built with complete traffic signaling equipment along the entire route, so that the work has not stopped anywhere, it is being built continuously to build a modern and safe highway. - We are aware that there are reactions from the citizens, but believe that we are maximally committed and we are in daily communication and coordination to solve every single problem of this highway to be built completely with all elements to be safe for citizens to travel, said the Minister for transport.
According to him, at the moment it is not possible to say whether the announcements or forecasts for increasing the value of the entire project will be realized due to the increase in the price of construction materials.
- The cost price is set at 598 million euros. We are witnessing the oscillations that occur according to the world trends in construction materials, but our obligation is to complete this highway as soon as possible, to be safe to use because there must be no more calculations from either side in this construction procedure, said Bochvarski in response to a journalist question. As informed by the director of PESR Ejup Rustemi, during today's field inspection they concluded that about 95 percent of the route has been breached, and that the resolution of a number of procedures by the competent institutions is nearing completion. -Today we asked the contractor to increase the dynamics of construction of the highway at a faster pace, we are working on a number of airships, several junctions, alternative and parallel access roads, retaining walls, we are working on tunnels and everything else which is provided in accordance with the dynamics of construction, said Rustemi.
Construction of the highway began in 2014, but the completion deadline was extended several times. The deadline for its completion is the end of 2023.