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NewsOverhauling traffic: Herceg Novi's journey towards modern infrastructure

Overhauling traffic: Herceg Novi’s journey towards modern infrastructure

Herceg Novi residents believe that the solution to the persistent traffic congestion issue during the summer tourist season lies in the construction of a bypass around the city and a fast road over the Bay of Kotor. This initiative aims not only to alleviate traffic jams in the city but also to become part of a broader route connecting Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina with Albania and Greece.

The projects for building the bypass around Herceg Novi and the fast road over the Bay of Kotor have been incorporated into the state’s capital budget, underscoring their significance not only for Herceg Novi but for the entire nation of Montenegro and the Adriatic-Ionian region.

However, this undertaking is no simple task, according to Vladislav Velaš, the Secretary for Spatial Planning and Construction. The main project for the Herceg Novi bypass is nearing completion, with minor deviations anticipated. Approval from the Geological Institute for geological research work is awaited. The bypass route extends from Sutorina, passing beneath Ratiševina and Poda towards Zelenika, forming the first branch. Another branch, branching off towards the riviera, continues further towards Morinj and Kotor. Discussions with the designer have been fruitful, and preparations are underway for the second branch to connect seamlessly to the existing bypass.

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The construction of these routes is eagerly anticipated by the people of Herceg Novi. Tenders have been announced, and efforts have intensified to determine the best solution for bridging the Bay of Kotor. Options include constructing a bridge at the Opatovo-St. Nedjelja crossing, the Verige, or an underwater tunnel from Zelenika to Luštica. The fast road would then extend over Luštica to Lastva Grbaljska.

However, the matter of the traffic crossing over the Bay of Kotor remains unresolved after 50 years of deliberation. Various proposals, including Verige or St. Nedjelja crossings, have been discussed, prompting another tender to explore these options further. While there is support for the Verige or St. Nedjelja crossing within the Municipality of Herceg Novi, comprehensive assessments are necessary to determine the optimal solution. This decision would not only benefit Herceg Novi but also other cities in the Bay, effectively freeing up land trapped along current routes.

The proposal to build a bridge over the Bay of Kotor has been debated for decades, with economic, ecological, and social considerations posing significant challenges. The Bay’s UNESCO World Heritage status adds complexity, necessitating thorough assessments of all impacts before any decision is made. Despite differing opinions among experts, residents, and policymakers, the forthcoming conceptual solution will play a vital role in connecting the Bay’s shores.

Overall, implementing these bypass and fast road projects offers a promising solution to longstanding traffic issues, providing relief to the congested old highway, particularly during the bustling summer tourist season.

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