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Croatia : New Krk bridge coming

Kroatien: neue Krk-Brücke kommt
© | JU Zavod za prostorno uređenje PGŽ (Screenshot Youtube)

In order to relieve the old Tito Bridge from 1980, a new, larger bridge is also being built from the mainland to the island of Krk. This will have four lanes and will also be able to accommodate railroads on a second level.

If you want to get to the Croatian island of Krk in the Adriatic Sea by car from the mainland, you can currently only reach the largest Adriatic island (together with the island of Cres, which is exactly the same size) in the Kvarner Bay south-east of Rijeka via the so-called Krk Bridge.

The Krk Bridge (Krčki most in Croatian) was opened on July 19, 1980 under the name Tito Bridge. From 1980 to the year 2000, more than 27 million crossings were counted. The bridge, which was subject to tolls until June 2020, is part of the D102, which branches off from the D8 – and it is the only bridge to date that connects the Croatian island of Krk with the mainland.


Croatia: new Krk bridge coming
© den-belitsky | Adobe Stock


The old Tito Bridge is to be joined by a second bridge in the next few years

This could soon change, because: the reinforced concrete road bridge with a roadway above, which consists of two partial bridges with the small island of Sveti Marko in the middle and was designed for wind speeds of up to 142 km/h (almost 77 knots), is to be joined by a second bridge in the next few years, according to Croatian media reports.

Reason: Recent studies have shown that storms and strong gusts of wind are not the only threats to the bridge, but also salt. In recent years, the salt had caused the concrete to corrode, resulting in cracks.

In addition, the existing Tito Bridge had become too small due to the expansion of the port terminal on Krk and the constantly growing volume of traffic, making the construction of a larger bridge unavoidable.

According to the Croatian authorities, the new bridge was not to be built on the site of the current one, but about 1,800 meters south of it, where the Lanterna peninsula is located, which is only 600 meters away from the mainland. The new bridge would have four lanes and a direct connection to the A7 highway, according to previous plans.


Croatia: new Krk bridge coming
© | JU Zavod za prostorno uređenje PGŽ (Screenshot Youtube)


The Croatian government’s previous plans have now been confirmed and the first tenders for the construction of the new bridge have already been issued

This information has now been confirmed and substantiated by official Croatian sources. The Croatian highway company HAC recently announced an open tender for an environmental impact study for the new Krk Bridge and the associated connecting roads. According to the newspaper Novi List, the regional planning procedure is underway and the responsible county is Primorje-Gorski Kotar.

According to Novi List, the new bridge will have four lanes for road traffic. In addition, a further route is to be equipped with rails, which will then also be able to accommodate railroads that will also travel to Krk in the future.


Croatia: new Krk bridge coming
© | JU Zavod za prostorno uređenje PGŽ (Screenshot Youtube)


Comparable structures are currently built with two storeys, so it is assumed that the new bridge will also have two levels. The Tito Bridge is not to be demolished, but will remain in operation parallel to the new bridge.


Croatia: new Krk bridge coming
© | JU Zavod za prostorno uređenje PGŽ (Screenshot Youtube)


Completion is not expected before 2029, although the need already exists

According to the head of the Croatian highways department, Gregor Mihelčić, the new bridge is not expected to be completed before 2029. It should then help to cope with the growing number of passengers at Rijeka Airport in Omisalj and enable the development of a new, large port in the bay of the same name, where there has been an oil terminal as well as a liquefied natural gas terminal since 2021.

“When we renovated the existing bridge two years ago, the traffic development plan also included the construction of a second bridge with railroad tracks. There is already a need for it now, and when the port terminal in Omišalj is completed, this need will be even greater,” the Kleine Zeitung quotes Transport Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Butković as saying; it will “definitely” be built.


Croatia: new Krk bridge coming
© | JU Zavod za prostorno uređenje PGŽ (Screenshot Youtube)


HAC board member Boris Huzijan explained that the final type of construction of the bridge will only be determined in the study phase. However, Gregor Mihelčić assumes that it will be two-storey, and that a concrete or pure metal construction is possible.

The eastern end of Črišnjeva Bay is being discussed as the location for the new bridge

The location has also not yet been finalized. It will probably be built south of the existing bridge and lead from the eastern end of Črišnjeva Bay across the peninsula on which the Maltempo Fortress is located to Krk, the HAC board is quoted as saying.

The new Pelješac Bridge was only opened in 2022 – after 15 years of construction. Since then, Croatia’s largest sea bridge has connected the peninsula of the same name with the mainland. Drivers are no longer dependent on driving via the Bosnian coastal town of Neum (with two external EU borders); the journey time to Dubrovnik has been significantly reduced since then.



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