After many delays and challenges, construction work will finally commence on the highway that will link Serbia’s capital Belgrade with Pristina, the capital of neighbouring Kosovo. Called the Peace Highway, the route will stretch some 383km and when complete, will run from Serbia, through Kosovo and connect with Durres in Albania.
The project faces many technical challenges as the topography of the route is such that it will require the construction of six tunnels and 12 bridges. Numerous overpasses, underpasses and viaducts will also need to be built.
The highway will run 77km between Nis and Merdare and will cost €1.07 billion to build. The project is being handled by Strabag and Serbian State-owned firm JP Koridori Srbije.
When complete, the route will form part of Europe’s Corridor 10, running to Albania’s port of Durres and providing an important transport route for both Serbia and Kosovo. Politically, the highway is of immense significance for the Western Balkans region, revealing the improving relations between Serbia, Kosovo and Albania.
Key funding has been sourced in the shape of loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as a grant from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). The Serbian Government is also providing a portion of the financing required.