The construction of a highway from Skopje to the small town of Blace on the border with Kosovo will start in the spring, representatives of the government of North Macedonia have announced. State Roads of North Macedonia company director Zoran Kitanov signed the contract on the construction of the first two kilometers of the highway, worth around EUR12.2m, on Jan. 16 with the company Granit, which is obliged to complete the section in 18 months.
"Construction works will begin this spring, and we will be able to drive down the first kilometers of highway in the summer of 2021," he said after the signing at the government headquarters in Skopje. According to Kitanov, preparations are also well under way for the construction of the rest of the Skopje - Blace highway, the length of which is 10 kilometers. That highway merges at the border with the Pristina - Elezov Han (Djeneral Jankovic) highway, which was opened for traffic in late May 2019. After the completion of the highway to Blace, in the words of North Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani, "Skopje and Pristina, as the closest capital cities in the region, will be less than an hour away from each other."
According to the government in Skopje, the entire project of the Skopje - Blace highway, the length of which totals nearly 13 kilometers, is estimated at close to EUR120m. Out of that sum, EUR27m has been secured as a grant from EU funds for the Western Balkans, about 70m will be provided by the EBRD as a loan, while the rest will come from the state budget.