Croatia’s $155m Drava bridge is 99.7% complete – and has been for past two years

Contractors building the longest bridge in Croatia, the $155m Osijek cable-stayed bridge, are refusing to complete the last $500,000 of work until they are paid, the Poslovni Dnevnik (Business Daily) website reports.

A consortium of Croatian companies is in dispute with the client, Croatian Motoways (HAC), over a claim for an additional $30m, and are refusing to complete the 2,485m-long structure until they are paid. The result has been a two-year-long standoff.

The bridge, which is made up of concrete "approach bridges" over the Drava River floodplain and a 420m cable-stayed section over the river itself, is intended to link Osijek and Beli Manastir, two towns in the east of Croatia, near the Serbian border.

The contract was signed in 2009, although work on site was delayed until 2011 as HAC struggled to raise the necessary funds.

The work was due to last 30 months, with completion scheduled for December 2013, however the four firms refused to complete the final 0.3% until they were paid their extra money.

The claim went to an independent Dispute Settlement Council, which awarded the claimants a little under $17m, however the contractors are unwilling to complete the final $500,000 of work until their claims are met.

Among the firms working on the project is civil engineer Viadukt of Zagreb, which built the pylons, and Skladgradnja of Split, which is handling the superstructure.

Poslovni Dnevnik adds that the urgency to settle has been decreased by the fact that the A5 motorway, which the bridge is intended to carry over the Drava, has not yet been built …

Image: Work under way on the bridge’s pylons (Peri)

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