An aerial photo shows the section of the E-763 Expressway completed by China Communications Construction. (Photo provided to China Daily)
An expressway section connecting New Belgrade and Surcin in Serbia opened to traffic on April 1, bringing more cities into a one-hour economic circle around the capital Belgrade, according to the Chinese company responsible.
Construction of the 7.9-kilometer section, which is part of the E-763 Expressway project, began in March 2021.
The $70.5 million expressway project was the first to be undertaken by a Chinese company in Europe, according to the statement from China Communications Construction, a leading global ultra-large infrastructure service provider.
With the addition of the new section, the E-763 currently extends for 140 km, drawing more cities into a one-hour economic circle around Belgrade and making transport more convenient for more than 4 million people.
Designed by teams from China and Serbia, the section has six lanes, two sidewalks and a single-direction bicycle lane and permits travel of 80 km per hour. "The starting point is located at a busy roundabout with a heavy flow of people and vehicles, making construction more complicated," said Zhao Pan, chief engineer of the section.
Representatives from China and Serbia attend the opening ceremony of the section of the expressway in Belgrade on April 1. (Photo provided to China Daily)
With Serbian government support and the assistance of Serbian engineers, the design and coordination work was swiftly completed, Zhao added. Once finished, the expressway will extend for 265 km and connect Serbia with Hungary, Romania and Croatia, as well as with the wider Balkan region. The new section was a high-priority project for Serbia, as it creates a fast connection between Belgrade and the E-763 Expressway, and shortens the link between Belgrade and the Adriatic Sea, according to Xinhua News Agency.
To date, China Communications Construction has won contracts to build four sections of the expressway, including one that was finished in 2019 and another that is under construction. In total, the company will build 131 km of the E-763.
Attending the opening ceremony in Belgrade on April 1, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia is heading into new infrastructural investments, thanks to good financial results this year and low public debt.
"This year, we expect to sign large contracts, thanks to slightly better results … This is the success of Serbia, but also of all our citizens," Vucic was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.