Highways, roads and streets

Construction of E 75 Highway, Section: Grdelica – Caricina Dolina, Republic of Serbia

The project is funded by: European Investment Bank
Budget: 38 000 000 Euro
Start date: 13 Oct 2014
End date: 20 May 2019
Employer: Koridori Srbije Ltd., Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
Contractor: "Trace Group Hold" Plc

On May 18th, 2019, President of the Republic of Serbia, Alexander Vučić, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, and members of the Serbian government, solemnly opened the highway, along the southern part of the Pan-European Corridor 10. The most complex lot of the project has been implemented by “Trace Group HoldPlc. It covers construction of roads and bridges from Predejane Tunnel to Caricina Dolina. The event was attended by the Chairman of Trace Supervisory Board Prof. Nikolay Mihaylov, PhD (Econ), Dipl. Eng., CEO of the company Dipl. Eng. Boyan Delchev, as well as the management team of Trace - Ogranak, led by Dipl. Eng. Stoyko Meshkov.

Bird's eye project view a few days before its completion is available here.

Official Opening video at Serbian channel Belle Amie you can see here.

On the project section constructed by Trace builders and engineers, President Vučić said before the Bulgarian ambassador in Serbia Mr. Vlaykov the following: “The most complicated section of Grdelica Valley was implemented by the Bulgarian company Trace".

What Trace engineers shared about the project:

In front of his colleagues, Dipl. Eng. Meshkov said: "For the project photo session we will give to Prof. Mihaylov, we chose the words of the Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric - "From everything that a man in his quest for life, what he raises and builds the best and the most precious in my ideas are the bridges. Тhey show the place where a man has encountered an obstacle and has not stopped before, but he overcame it." These words of Andric very accurately describe what we have built in Grdelica Valley, but they are also a part of the philosophy of our entire company. Together we are stronger, better and more honest. This project is an important part of Trace Path in Serbia, but I'm sure - and on the Balkans as well", he said excitedly.

The terrain, where Trace teams were working, was hard and complicated. Its difficulty comes from the combination of the virgin mountain nature in Grdelica Valley, taking into consideration South Morava River, which needed to be overcome with bridges, the necessity of displacement of an already existing parallel road above the highway one. During the construction works, a railway line was kept into operation and the river was being regulated. "Everything you can do in the road construction is gathered in 5 km",said Dipl. Eng. Simeon Ivanov (part of the Tender department team). He explained the complexity of the process during the section execution: "Besides the usual excavations, embankments, asphalt works, we have built many retaining structures: reinforced concrete walls, pile walls, reinforced embankments, gabion walls. The protection of the slope in figures is 18 000 sq.m. The highest point of the excavation works is 60 m. The route of the highway follows the natural terrain, on the one hand - preservation of nature, on the other - decreasing the volume of construction works. The two levels are divided; they are on different levels, which required the construction of reinforced concrete walls. And he added: "We were the youngest team among the five lots performers. But we were excellent. Dipl. Eng. Delchev, CEO of the Holding company, has always been behind us, he has been involved in our briefings, in drafting the schedules, in decisions makinng."

Dipl. Eng. Pavlina Maneva, Chief Tender Department of the project, said that the construction of the highway was related to overcome difficulties in a short term: redesign, demolition, landslides, swift-flowing river, railway line into operation, road displacement. "On such a project you can learn everything; it is unimaginablefor me if there is another kind of difficulty that I could ever face in my work. Today the road traffic is running on „our“highway, I still feel the difficulty of the project, and I believe what's going to happen from now on will be for good!"

The Bridge engineers Dipl. Eng. Milos Zlatkovic and Dipl. Eng. Daniel Malienovic commented: "Everything that is being taught at the University has been gathered in this project, but at greater extent. This is a major project that requires a series of correct decisions; you have no right to mistake in order to proceed to the next stage. The interaction between the human mind and activities with nature is a test. At any moment - when things were going as planned and when we had problems, we've always felt the support of Trace management."


Project key figures:

The section has a total length of 4,650 m

• Road part - 3 375 m

• Major structures – 1 670 m

• Earthworks - 317 000 m3

• Embankment – 297 000 m3

• Crushed stone pavement - 110 000 m3

• Asphalt pavement - 43 650 t

The highway route overcomes five times with bridges South Morava River and crosses Nis-Skopje international railway line in three places. There is a "Predejane” road junction implemented within the project which provides connection in all directions, and a Toll station.

The major structure is Bridge 11 with a length of 510 meters, while the second one is a bridge 9 with a length of 450 meters. The largest opening in the major structures is at Bridge 9 with a length of 55 meters, filled as a reinforced concrete box. 340 pcs. prestressed beams, the largest of which are 49 m long and 100 t weight were executed.

The total number of piles is 1 054 with a total length of 15 920 m. There are 4 420 m retaining structures made of concrete, piles, reinforced concrete and gabions, stone facing of South Morava river with a total length of 750 m. The protection of the slope is 520 m long, with a height above 60 m and total area of 15 300 m2.

The M-1 highway is also located along the route, parallel to the newly built highway, which is moved in a section of 1,400 m length.

Corridor 10 is one of the most significant Pan-European transport corridors. Its route connects Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece.