A four-decade long dream has finally come true. The City Ring Road, a one-way road cutting accross the urban part of Zenica has finally come to a completion. Financed by the soft loan from the Saudi Fund for Development, the first phase of this historic infrastructural project is now finished offering not only a new 3.25 km road but totally renewed utilities that are now dislocated into the green belt between the tracks for easier meintenance.
Together with the River Bosna Boulevard it makes a great circular route covering all major locations in the city. Within the project, the City Government has also reconstructed a number of transversal access roads also replacing the obsolete water, sewage and heating pipelines and laying a new tarmac that provides for smooth and easy flow of downtown traffic.
The total project includes 17 newly-built roundabouts, 6 bridges, a one-way cycling path running between two ends of the City Ring Road and so many other facilities.
The official opening ceremony took place on April 6, 2016 at the newly-built Fountain nearby the flyover at the northern entrance to the city. At the ceremony which gathered together local and international stakeholders, as well as a large number of citizens who wanted to attend this long-awaited historic event, the speeches were offered by Mr. Husein Smjalović, Mayor of Zenica, H.E. Hani Abdullah M. Mominah, Ambassador of the Saudi Arabia to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Mirsad Heleg, director of the Project Implementation Agency, Mr. Hamed Ramić, director of the Contractor’s Consortium and Mr. Hassan Al-Attas, Director of Operations at the Saudi Fund for Development.
As the honorable speakers have reiterated in their speeches, the importance of CRR goes beyond an infrastructural project. It is a new way of traffic organization, unique in this part of Europe, which rendered the traffic lights unnecessary. It has significantly reduced the air pollution and traffic jams at peak hours. Also, the new utility infrastructure was put in place to make it an integral project covering not only downtown traffic but utilities as a whole.
The project worth 25 million USD has offered our local companies a chance to prove their abilities and earn a reputation in both local and international construction market. Some of them have already made a couple of international construction deals that greatly help the local economy.
In a word, this is one of the most important projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina that could be looked at as a great breakthrough in the methods of resolving the traffic issues in densely populated areas. The CRR Project has changed the face of Zenica and offered its citizens a new reason to stay here and do their part in making their city even more beautiful and prosperous. It also makes a great gift to our children and all coming generations.