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15. April 2010.
Parliament speaker Slavica Đukić-Dejanović opened on Wednesday the works on the Dimitrovgrad bypass in eastern Serbia. The bypass is located near the border with Bulgaria and is part of the Corridor 10 highway project.
At the ceremony, the speaker pointed out that the highway will create jobs for "around 100,000 people".
"Infrastructure projects are the hope for a better future for Serbia," Đukić-Dejanović said. Her fellow high ranking SPS official, Infrastructure Minister Milutin Mrkonjić, was also in attendance.
World Bank Regional Coordinator Jane Armitage, who was also present, said that the completion of Corridor 10 will help the Serbian economy by raising employment and bringing great profit to businesses.
Member of the Management Board of Public Enterprise Koridor 10 (Corridor 10) Nenad Ivanišević announced that the tender for the stretch from Dimtrovgrad to Pirot will be called early in May and that works should start in the summer.
The tender for the construction of the Dimitrovgrad bypass and the highway to the Bulgarian border is made up of two parts – a 5.8 kilometer section of road, including the loop, and seven bridges 20 to 500 meters in length.
As she addressed those gathered, Đukić-Dejanović did not speak about deadlines, but she did mentioned 100,000-jobs figure.
In Serbia, ceremonies marking the start of works on various sections of Corridor 10 have become something of a common occurance.
Just over a year ago, almost the entire government gathered for a photo opportunity as works commenced on a single lane of a 22-kilometer-long Lesojevo-Preševo section, and promised the other lane would be built as well.
Today, there's parked machinery sitting idly at the site, with only the new lane open for traffic, while the old lane of the highway is almost useless.
Preševo Municipal President Ragmi Mustafa says that he appealed to the ministries in charge because this section of the road was not safe, and because the locals have trouble reaching their fields.
However, he says there has been no response.
Institute of Transportation CIP General Director Milutin Ignjatović says that "the basic problem" lies in the fact that works started without complete documentation. The bridge over the Danube near Beška, where works have been delayed for two years now, is an example of this.
When it comes to the northern branch of Corridor 10, the Horgoš-Novi Sad stretch – also only one lane of it, which will be constructed by a domestic concessionaire.
As for the Belgrade bypass, half of its 50 kilometers have been built so far. The reason given for the delay was not money, but incomplete documentation, just as in the case of the Beška Bridge.