Demir Kapija, 8th September 2012 (MIA) – On Saturday, by laying cornerstone, construction of motorway section Demir Kapija-Smokvica covering 28 km, started. Main axis of Corridor X, passing through Macedonia, being 1,451 km long in total, will be completed with the construction, planned to be finalized by 2016.
Total investment for construction of this motorway section is EUR 257 million, EUR 130 million out of which is provided by the European Investment Bank, EUR 45 million is IPA grant of the European Union, EUR 170 million is provided from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and EUR 6 million is Budget funds.
Demir-Kapija – Smokvica will be motorway, including two lanes, each of them of width of 3.5 meters. It is planned for the construction to include two tunnels covering 1,200 meters, each in both directions, as well as six bridges, the biggest out of which being around 660 km long, which will be the largest bridge in the country. Two intersections towards the populated areas Miravci and Smokvica are also envisaged.
Corner-laying ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski, Vice Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs, Vladimir Pesevski, EU Ambassador Aivo Orav, ministers, mayors and representatives of the diplomatic corps.
Addressing the event, Prime Minister Gruevski said that exactly one year ago at Macedonia’s independence anniversary, newly constructed motorway Tabanovce-Kumanovo was put in use, thus linking Republic of Macedonia with its northern border with Serbia.
– We make promises and we fulfill them with great deeds and large projects. What we promised we realize. Government has managed to provide EUR 257 million and by laying this cornerstone, we launch one of the largest infrastructural investment in the last 20 years. It is a matter of the most contemporary motorway section with two tunnels, six bridges, five overpasses, seven underpasses and two intersections, Gruevski said.
That is why as Prime Minister pointed out, in the past years, 390 km of regional roads and over 250 separate local roads were constructed and reconstructed. We carried out constructions prior to the global economic crisis, during its full swing and we will continue to perform constructions in future as well, Gruevski pointed out.
Vice Prime Minister Stavreski said that the existing generations in Macedonia should work for their country, as well as for its future generations .
– Is there any other place for a Macedonian apart from Macedonia, Goce Delcev asked Dame Gruev in his letter “Is there any other more suitable area for working other than Macedonia". I found our direction and the path we should follow in the words of one of the biggest Macedonian heavyweights, activists and ideological persons. Today, we continue the vision of Goce, that is working, building, creating new value and leaving a legacy to the future generations. Constructors, that is our commitment, Stavreski said.
According to Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Corridor 10 is the most important infrastructural artery in Macedonia, connecting the country with Europe in the north and Thessaloniki Harbour in the south. Stavreski pointed out that this Corridor improves the geo-strategic good position of Macedonia and the attractiveness for investments and doing business in the country.
– Corridor 10 is a direct link to four out of 110 Macedonian trade partners, even 70% of the import and export is carried out along the Corridor. It is a matter of trade worth more than billion of euros annually. By completing this part of Corridor 10, the time for transport will be significantly reduced. Construction of this motorway in the next four years, will increase the job opportunities of the local population and the business-related possibilities. Four years from now, we are going to have a modern highway, which will increase the opportunities at national and regional level, Stavreski stressed.
EU Ambassador Orav underlined that this is the biggest EU-funded Project at present. Motorway will contribute to improving the regional integration, reducing the time for traveling and increasing the road security.
– By constructing the section, we will much more easily export agricultural products and the transport will be cheaper, safer and faster, Vice Prime Minister Pesevski said during his address.
Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski believes that it is a matter of exceptionably important event, by which Corridor 10 will be fully completed and their vision for sound infrastructure will become a reality.
– Today’s event is of great significance for the economic growth and the road infrastructure. New section to the populated area Smokvica will be connected with the motorway leading to Gevgelija. We completed the section Tabanovce-Kumanovo last year, and there are ongoing activities at the section Katlanovo- Veles, Janakieski said.
Construction of Corridor 10 will be fully completed with the construction of the section. Corridor 10 is the most significant element of the central transportation network, connecting the Republic of Greece with Austria.