Montenegro, Which would be the best option, besides the ferry, for crossing the Bay of Kotor?

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With the interruption of regular 24-hour ferry traffic across the Bay of Kotor, Herceg Novi is becoming the „cecum“ of Montenegro these days. We are waiting for the acquisition of vessels from other countries, or the unlikely re-engagement of the six Maritime Transport ferries, if the Government, the Maritime Administration and that company find a common language.

The connection of Herceg Novi with the rest of Montenegro by a fast road in two variants, as well as a bridge or a tunnel, must finally be found in the Spatial Plan of Montenegro.

The council for revising the concept of the Spatial Plan did not accept the suggestions and objections sent to that document by the Municipality of Herceg Novi, which refer to the high-speed road.

It Is not needed, because it destroys the landscape of the hinterland and blocks huge land, while the Municipality has already foreseen the construction of a bypass above Sušćepan, via Pod to Zelenika. It should be financed by the Administration for Capital Projects with around EUR 20 million, the local administration indicated.

Ranko Kovačević, a member of the Council for Review of the Spatial Plan of Montenegro and head of the work team for changes to the PUP of the Municipality of Herceg Novi, told Novi Portal that the adoption of planning documentation is certainly a long-term and complex process.

– No solution can be ideal. It has to be a compromise where something little will suffer, and the most is gained. That is why the dilemma of how to bridge the gulf has been dragging on for 20 years. The moment has come to make a decision about choosing the route of the expressway, whether to go from Debeli Brije to Verige, or to Luštica. It is option A and option B is a bridge or tunnel across the bay. If the route goes to Luštica, it is certainly a tunnel, but if it goes to Verige, the dilemma remains whether the bridge, for which there is already a conceptual solution, will mar the landscape. I have not yet seen an analysis of how the bridge would visually disrupt the landscape, nor how that conclusion was reached. UNESCO is not decisive and does not say: “The bridge cannot”, it just says try to find another solution – Kovačević states
But a tunnel alone is not a good solution, he believes and explains:

– No one has done a Visual Impact Study for the route of the road that would go through Luštica. Try to imagine two highways across the Luštica coast, on the other side a 300-meter-high expressway, which has 2 roads with two lanes each. Similar to a highway. He should go down to the coast, enter the sea and cross the sea to Luštica. Another option to make it invisible, although it cannot be invisible, is to build tunnels 7-8 km long. Since the road has two lanes each, two tunnels are needed, 8 km long, and Sozina alone is a little over 4 km long.

In any case, the spatial plan of Montenegro should finally define whether the high-speed road will go to Verige or Luštica, that is, whether a bridge or a tunnel will be built. The implementation of any variant takes a long time, confirms the interlocutor of Novski portal. The latest information indicates that the developers are of the opinion that the better option is to build a bridge. However, one should first determine the corridor, survey it geodetically, then geologically examine it, make a preliminary design, the main project…

– Even if the decision is made in the next month, the preparations are so extensive that the bridge could not be built for 3 years. There is also a variant for the bridge with access roads to be connected only to the local level and connecting Herceg Novi and Tivat, so that it is not on the state road. It’s a big investment.

So for now, but certainly for at least the next two or three years, ferries are the only and necessary solution in order to relieve road traffic through Boka Kotor, and prevent Herceg Novi from being cut off. It Is hard to imagine a season in Boka Kotorska without at least five ferries in operation.

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