Central Dalmatia is proving popular! Another great tourism year is coming to a close, and once again, tourists have enjoyed the beaches, towns, nature and gastronomy. But those growing numbers bring with them new challenges, and Central Dalmatia is working hard to meet the new demand with new infrastructure to cater to the larger number of visitors.
The most noticeable change this year for tourists was at Split Airport, of course, as the much-anticipated new airport terminal opened in July, offering a much more pleasant arrival and departure experience. The recently-completed dual carriageway into the city has made the transfer process a lot smoother as well, and efforts to manage the traffic flow and keep tourist buses away from the centre have also been broadly successful.
The infrastructure upgrades are also taking place at sea, as cruise ships, car ferry travellers and sailors alike are visiting in larger numbers. No less than ten new ports are planned in the next four years in the region, and the head of the region’s Port Authority, Domagoj Maroevic, gave more details in a recent media interview, much of which you can find below.
“By the end of the year we are starting construction on five ports, at present, tenders are open for HRK 200 million of port infrastructure. One of them is a port in Kastel Stari worth almost HRK 50 million, and they should get over 200 new berths and 9.5 thousand square meters of coastal area, as well as construction of a new port in Omis with over 250 meters of coastline, and a new coast that is 12 thousand square meters, where 80 new nautical berths will be used exclusively in the season.
“The plan is to build 70 meters of coastline and waterfront in Postira on the island of Brac, the tender is already finished, and the contract is signed – and there is also Bol. In addition, we are planning to upgrade 180 meters of the marina in Marina, where we should get 30 new nautical berths that would be used only in the season, and one of the biggest projects is the construction of a new port in Sucuraj for which we received European funds.
“The competition ends next week and in the autumn, we plan to start the construction of a new ferry port worth HRK 30 million. It would also get a new ferry berth, as well as the possibility of a much larger ferry that would sail between Drvenik and Sucuraj. Today’s ferry can accommodate 30 vehicles, and with the introduction of a new one, about 100 vehicles can be loaded in a single ride.
“By the end of the year, we should also get a permit to build a port in Stomorska, Krilo and Bol on Brac. We applied for a location permit for Krilo Jesenice two months ago and we expect it by the end of this month. We have a main project contracted and they would immediately go to the main project and should have a building permit by the end of the year. During 2020, the reconstruction of Vis would begin, and at the end of 2020, a new ferry port in Stari Grad. One year after that, the Križna luka Harbor in Hvar.
“We are working with the Society of Architects to develop an architectural design for the entire coast of the port in Hvar. We plan to start the project mid-September, then, through DAS, announce the conceptual design and by mid-December, the commission would select the best offer, after which they would start designing. It would take about two years and these are some projects for the future, and the value of this project should be more than EUR 50 million. It will be a combination of nautical berths, a new catamaran dock, as well as a new operational shoreline and landscaping. One of the bigger plans that should start to be realized in 7 years is the construction of a new port in Vis in the bay of Stonca, as the spatial plan is changing.
“In Stobrec we await a building permit, which is for a project worth HRK 1.5 million, we have the reconstruction of the waterfront in Vinisce worth HRK 2.5 million, and we still have the second phase of reconstruction in Kut on Vis, where there should be room for another 30 nautical berths.
“We have now received HRK 22 million for Sucuraj and we plan to withdraw HRK 45 million for Omis. They should finance Stomorska with about HRK 20 million, and Stari Grad worth HRK 75 million. During this period, they could withdraw funds for Bol, a catamaran port worth HRK 15 million. We have prepared far more projects and we have done it on time, that is the only difference between us and other port authorities.”