The President of the Republic of Srpska Željka Cvijanović attended the official beginning of construction of the bridge on the Sava River at Čatrnja near Gradiška. The President of the Republic of Srpska said today that the construction of the bridge on the Sava River near Gradiška is an important long-awaited event, and to those who meanly asked where Banja Luka-Gradiška highway was leading to that she can tell that it leads to the European Union. “This is what we wanted, we worked on it together and I would like to thank everyone in the Government of the Republic of Srpska, the institutions of BiH and Croatia and the people from the European Union who, together with us, have said that this is a strategically important development project”, said the President Cvijanović. According to the President of the Republic, with all the injustice and long awaited beginning of the bridge construction, it is justice because this project implementation begins with the mandate of the EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, who knows how this region works and how important it is for the Western Balkans to connect with the European Union. “This project will mean a lot to our citizens and to the EU citizens who will use this crossing and visit us, for tourists who will come here, and there is no need to point out how important it is for our economy to connect with the EU. This also brings special symbolism because we, as people who strive to move forward, develop and connect with the European market, may have something we deserved long ago, but it has taken us more time than usually do to many obstacles to start building this bridge”, said the President Cvijanović. The President of the Republic of Srpska said that regional integration is important for Srpska, as well as the symbolism with the contribution that each infrastructure project, from the smallest one to particularly strategically important like this one, gives to the general prosperity and development. “This is a great development opportunity for Srpska, particularly for the people of this region. Together with the revitalisation and development of the airport, which is located not far from here, this altogether represents a completely different dimension”, said the President Cvijanović. The President of Srpska wished the construction of the bridge be a good opportunity for the companies that would be building it and the contractors who proved that they could work together at the regional level and resolve big issues. “This was a big problem since it was problematic to have a highway in which so much money has been invested and there was even reserved money for the bridge, but we could not start with the implementation. I wish us many more good projects. I believe in the cooperation we have with the EU and the potential we show here. I am sure that within the Connectivity Agenda, we will have many more projects that will allow us to be closer to each other in infrastructure and in every other way”, said the President Cvijanović.

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