Unfortunately, Montenegro is the only country in the Balkans that does not have a highway, but that will change soon. As a prosperous tourist destination, and a country that generates huge revenues from tourism, Montenegro has finally begun to think about this problem. But not just to think, works on the construction of this most demanding construction project in the history of Montenegro began in May 2015.
Our taxi drivers who prefer transfers from the Podgorica airport in direction of the north of Montenegro are especially satisfied, because the first kilometers of the highway are just in the direction of the north of Montenegro. The priority section of the highway is located between the cities of Podgorica and Kolašin, more precisely from Smokovac near Podgorica to the place of Mateševo. This section is planned to be completed within four years, but given that the initial works were delayed for a long time due to the relocation of a certain part of the route of the highway, this period may be longer.
The highway is planned from Bar, the port city in the south, to the place of Boljare, on the border of Montenegro and Serbia. It is very important for Montenegro, viewed from the economic point of view. Only the first 41 kilometers will cost over eight hundred million euros, without access roads and loops. The Montenegrin government borrowed money in the form of a loan from Chinese Exim Bank, which would be eligible to pay 85% of the work, and the remaining 15% will be financed from own sources, actually from the state budget. Chinese company CRBC (China Road and Bridge Corporation) is performing construction of this first part of the highway.
Driving taxi in Montenegro, regardless you start from Podgorica airport or other destination, going to the north, is pretty difficult. Who didn't pass by car through Platije, Canyon of Moraca River, hardly can understand why. By building a highway from Podgorica to Kolašin, this most difficult and dangerous road section will be avoided. This part of the highway through Montenegro is only 41 km long and, as far as construction is concerned, it is best described by the data that a total of 45 bridges and 35 tunnels will be built on this part. It's really impressive, is it? And only one bridge, called Moracica, which will be one kilometer long, will have pillars of height close to two hundred meters.
There is also another very important reason why a section from Podgorica to Kolasin is being built first. By building this road, the possibility of building mini hydropower plants on the Moraca River is finally open. Until now, this was not possible because by constructing dam damages the water from accumulation lakes sank the existing road, which is at the same time the main link of the south of Montenegro with the north. In any case, the benefits of building a highway are multiple. Not only that our taxi drivers from Podgorica are eagerly waiting for the completion of works, but also all other drivers and passengers. Regardless, a better traffic connection between Montenegro and surrounding countries will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the number of tourists. This will certainly be reflected in the state budget, and much easier to restore the loan the state took to build the highway.