Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Oscar Benedict, Director of the Public Investment Management Office Marko Blagojević and Svilajnac Mayor Predrag Milanović symbolically cut the ribbon today to open to traffic the new bridge over the Resava River, on the local road Jasenovo - Subotica.
The new bridge, valued at RSD 40 million, now connects two villages in the Svilajnac Municipality, and also the Municipalities of Svijalnac and Despotovac, while the old and damaged bridge which added to the flooding will soon be demolished. The bridge is constructed in the village of Subotica; it is 35 meters long and 6 meters wide, while its construction was financed from the EU Solidarity Fund.
The EU assistance for the recovery of Svilajnac following the flooding has been estimated so far at EUR 5.9 million through pre-accession funds IPA 2012 and IPA 2014, and also the projects financed from the EU Solidarity Fund.
"Flooding in this area caused substantial damage and suffering, and I am very pleased that the European Union could help the citizens of Svilajnac when they needed it most, through reconstruction of bridges, schools and private houses. Flood prevention projects will soon be launched in this municipality with watercourse regulation so that any possible future flood might be prevented", said Banedict at the ceremony.
Marko Blagojević underscored that the European Union is the biggest donor to Serbia for reconstruction purposes following the flooding and construction of protection systems.
"Construction of the bridge over the Resava acknowledges the fact that Serbia is a candidate for EU membership, as we have been given the access to the European funds. The new bridge in Svilajnac represents a part of the Resava regulation process which will protect the households in the village of Subotica against any possible future flooding", said Blagojević.
Construction of the bridge is the first requirement for the regulation of the Resava, the river which inflicted enormous damage to Svilajnac in May 2014, and the regulation is funded by the EU in the amount of EUR 2.7 million, said Milanović.
The ceremony of bridge opening to traffic was attended by around 200 inhabitants of Subotica. The bridge opening was preceded by a visit to the Secondary School "Svilajnac", whose two facilities - the High School and study rooms of the Technical School - have been reconstructed and outfitted last year with the assistance of the European Union in the amount of EUR 120,000 through the programme European Union Assistance for Flood Relief in Serbia. The EU Solidarity Fund is currently financing reconstruction of the third facility within this institution - the Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering - which commenced this month.