The Slovenia Times

Construction of Koroška section of expressway begins


Slovenj Gradec - Construction work began near Slovenj Gradec on a vital expressway to link the Koroška region in the north with the national motorway network. This is a second section on the Third Development Axis, the largest road projects under way in Slovenia linking Koroška and Bela Krajina in the south, on which work has started.

Valentin Hajdinjak, CEO at the National Motorway Company (DARS), said a 17-km section between Slovenj Gradec and Velenje will have three tunnels, three cut and cover tunnels, 16 viaducts, seven bridges, and ten overpasses and underpasses.

It is one of the most difficult sections on the Slovenian motorway network and will cost over EUR 800 million.

Part of it is the Jenina section launched today, which is valued at EUR 37.4 million and should be completed in 30 months. It will be built by a consortium of the construction companies Pomgrad, Garnol, GGD, and VOC Celje.

The plan to complete the 31km section between Slovenj Gradec and the motorway exit Šentrupert is the end of 2027, said Hajdinjak.

Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec hailed today's launch of construction work as a long-awaited big day for Koroška.

"Koroška and Bela Krajina are the only regions in Slovenia without a single kilometre of motorway or highway," he pointed out.

He stressed the role of the new road for progress of Koroška, saying Koroška people should have the same development opportunities as the rest of Slovenia.

He took issue with those who would say the road is not economically feasible because too few people live in Koroška, thanking a local civil group for pushing for the expressway, while criticising environmentalists for blocking such projects.

Construction work on the Third Development Axis started last October, on the northern-most section towards the Holmec border crossing with Austria, while activities are continuing to start building the other sections of the Koroška-Bela Krajnia expressway.


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