Karavanke tunnel construction could start in a month
The motorway company DARS is counting on the Foreign Ministry to do all it can to enable some 30 workers to come to the site in about a month.
According to DARS, Cengiz's workers are expected to arrive in multiple groups. First, a camp for workers is to be set up, then a concrete mixing plant, and then a new group of workers would join in to start preparing the tunnel entrance precut.
Cengiz's requests for working permits are currently being processed at the Radovljica administrative unit, but DARS is also counting on the Foreign Ministry's help for Cengiz to make all the necessary arrangements at Slovenian embassies in Ankara and Sarajevo.
"We expect the first two groups of about 30 workers in total to be on the construction site within about a month, and in the next two months we expect another 50 workers," DARS said.
It added that Cengiz had provided assurances that the EUR 98.6 million project would still be finished by the final deadline.
Preparatory work has already been conducted. Workers have cut the trees, set up a fence and started building a temporary platform before the epidemic started.
Slovenia is to build 3.5 kilometres of the 8-kilometre tunnel which will be located east of the existing tunnel connecting Slovenia and Austria.
Austria started drilling on its side of the Karavanke mountain in September 2018. Works were suspended because of coronavirus in mid-March only to resume again a month later.
In line with original plans, Slovenian and Austrian workers should meet in the tunnel in 2022.