Zenica Tunnel on the Corridor Vc Fully Drilled
Workers of the Sarajevo-based company “Euro-Asfalt” broke recently the left pipe of the “Zenica” tunnel on the Ponirak-Vraca section of the road Corridor Vc in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first, right pipe of this tunnel near Zenica, in the length of 3.4 km, was drilled earlier in November. The section is planned to be completed in 2023.
This is the longest tunnel built so far on any section of Corridor Vc through Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with its completion, the travel between Zenica and Žepče will be shorter by about 6.5 km. The “Zenica” tunnel passes under the Vepar mountain and will have nine passages for pedestrians, two passages for motor vehicles and two stop niches. The tunnel is being built according to the NATM model (New Austrian Tunnel Method). As much as 14.5 percent of the Corridor Vc route through BiH consists of tunnels. The project is specific also due to employment of a number of young engineers through the EU-supported employment programme.
The value of the works for the construction of the Ponirak – Vraca section is €84 million, of which €50 million are funds provided through the European Investment Bank (EIB) and €19 million are grants from the European Union (EU), provided through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
Ahmed Mušija, Public Company Motorways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: “The left pipe was drilled at a depth of 530 meters below the surface. More than 130 tons of explosives were used to break through this tunnel and about 630,000 m3 of rock mass and ground were excavated. The works were accompanied by problems due to the breakthrough of large amounts of water."
Corridor Vc is a major transit road between the countries of the region that runs through Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was thus identified as “Flagship 2, Connecting North to South” in the European Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans 2021-2027. Following the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor extension to the Western Balkans, Corridor Vc starts in Budapest, runs via northern Croatia (Osijek), crosses 325 kilometres through Bosnia and Herzegovina via Doboj, Zenica, Sarajevo and Mostar, and ends in the Croatian port of Ploče.
Video Corridor Vc in BiH, June 2021