The Slovenia Times

Ljubljana braces for major traffic disruption

Railway overpass over Dunajska Street. Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Slovenia's capital is chocking in traffic jams at rush hours but the situation is expected to get even worse next year as reconstruction work starts on a railway overpass as part of the project to build Ljubljana's future passenger terminal. Rail traffic will also be disrupted.

In the first phase the south section of the four-track overpass above Dunajska Road will be torn down as a result of which this key Ljubljana thoroughfare will be completely closed to all traffic at the section between Tivolska and Vilharjeva roads between 4 and 7 January.

Later on only some of the lanes will be closed, along with pavements on both sides of the road, but a new complete closure will follow in the second half of the year when work starts on the north section of the overpass.

"Terrible" times ahead

Setting out the road closures and new traffic regime on 28 November, officials warned that life and traffic in the capital will be seriously impacted next year. "The times ahead will be terrible," Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković said, calling on commuters to avoid travelling by car or to carpool if possible.

While the full closure is in force, traffic will be diverted via Celovška, Drenikova, Samova and Tivolska roads, while pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the underpass at the central railway station.

"Life and comute in this area will be made very difficult next year, but I'm confident that we have prepared for it to make it as painless as possible," Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said, adding that the ultimate goal was to build one of the most modern passenger centres in this part of Europe.

Dušan Mes, the CEO of the Slovenian Railways, said the overpass over Dunajska "is likely the biggest obstacle in the entire project" of the Ljubljana passenger centre. The section sees close to 500 trains pass every day.

The overpass will be torn down completely in two phases before a new one is built with new tracks. This should ensure that two tracks are open to rail traffic at all times.

Altered train services

Still, the traffic flows will change starting from 10 December. Some of the trains bound for the NW region of Gorenjska and Kamnik area will have their final stop at the railway station behind the Union brewery but during rush hours they will still terminate at the central railway station.

Out of 49 daily train services running between Jesenice, Kranj and Ljubljana, eight will terminate at the Union brewery station and the others at the central station. On the Kamnik-Graben-Jarše-Domžale-Ljubljana Šiška line 19 out of 48 services will have their final stop there.

A new city bus line will run between the two train stations every 15 minutes with stops on the way.

Meanwhile, some of the train services coming from the direction of Koper, SW, will be shifted to coaches. In the first phase, about ten trains will be shifted onto inter-city buses.

"We're confident that, despite the significant increase in traffic, we will get all trains, freight and passenger, over this barrier with the minimum of delays," said Mes.

The new Ljubljana passenger centre is expected to be built by the end of 2025, and the whole public-private investment is valued at around a billion euros.

Due to the project traffic in this part of the city but also elsewhere will be seriously affected over the next two years. "Don't block crossings, don't hold your mobile when you're driving. Show tolerance and solidarity," Janković urged motorists. He expects rush hours in the area to extend throughout the day.


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