The entire Dubrovnik-Neretva County, as well as the rest of Croatia, is eagerly awaiting July 26, when it will be united with the rest of Croatia. The opening ceremony will be a spectacle on land and at sea.
The land connestion of the south with the rest of Croatia, long announced and planned, began to be realized in 2017, when the EU approved its co-financing from its funds. In 2018, work began on the bridge, 2,404 meters long and 55 meters high, under which the first cruise ship recently sailed to Neum.
3.5 years ago, the first steel pile of the most complex bridge in Croatia was installed. Almost 30 years passed from announcement to construction and now the bridge is finally here. The Peljesac bridge crosses the sea strait, the Mali Ston channel. On the mainland, it starts from Komarna and ends in Brijesta on the Peljesac peninsula.
The total length of the bridge is 2404 m, almost 2.5 km, like 24 football fields. The bridge is 23.50 m wide, and the height reaches 55 m, which also determines the maximum height of a ship passing through a 200 m wide waterway. Almost 150 piles have been driven under the sea, and the Pelješki bridge structure consists of 6 low pylons and 5 central pylons, as well as 13 steel spans ranging from 72 to 285 meters in length. The height reaches almost 100 m, to be exact 97.85 m, for the sake of comparison, it is slightly less than the height of the Zagreb Cathedral. In total, about 85,000 tons of steel and iron were used, below and above the sea, and together with the concrete construction, it weighs as much as 30 Eiffel towers. The project is worth 526 million euros, and Croatia received 357 million euros from the EU.
Access roads are currently being worked on. The Ston bypass should be completed by the end of 2022. With European money and Chinese work, the century-old Croatian dream of the Peljesac bridge came true, and the construction itself through the changes of politicians was planned for 4 centuries.
The historic event of the ceremonial opening of the Peljesac Bridge will last the whole day at both ends of the bridge - in Brijesta and in Komarna. On the stage in Brijesta from morning until 8 pm, hundreds of performers, members of brass bands, folklore and cultural-art societies, klapa and associations from the Neretva valley, Peljesac, the islands of Lastovo and Korcula, Dubrovnik, and from the entire Dubrovnik-Neretva County will perform. The Du Motion race, the race of runners of all generations and the big marathon of Neretva boats at noon will also complete the ceremony on the side of the Brijesta rest area, where from 10 a.m. the bridge will be open to all citizens and visitors who want to walk on it (for safety reasons only up to the first pylon).
At the other side of the bridge at Komarna, there will be an evening part of the program for about 400 guests with performances by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Dubrovnik Trombunjers, Lada, Linđa, dance groups, cultural and artistic societies, singers, and Moreška will be performed. The ceremony in Komarna will end with the performance of the Hymn to Freedom, fireworks during which the bells of all the churches of the Dubrovnik Diocese will ring, and the blessing of the bridge. After the fireworks, two Croatian-made cars will pass through the bridge – Rimac’s Nevera, the most powerful electric car in the world, and the car of three-time European champion Niko Pulić.
Numerous barges and ships will be anchored under the bridge, as well as a ferry that accommodates about 400 people. Regular traffic on the Peljeski bridge will start at midnight.
Cultural and entertainment programs will be held on the day of the opening of the Peljesac Bridge in all towns in the county, including Stradun. The City of Dubrovnik, in the production of the Dubrovnik Summer Games, organizes a special program in the City on the occasion of the opening of the Peljesac Bridge. On the video wall on Stradun there will be a live broadcast of the opening of the bridge accompanied by city bells and trombone players.
For this special occasion of the opening of the Peljesac Bridge and the road connection of the Croatian territory, the Croatian National Bank will put into circulation a new commemorative 25 kuna coin on July 26.
Follow this historical moment live via our webcam in Komarna and the one at Stradun.