Focal area: Economic restructuring, regeneration and reform
Sector: Transport

Project: Reconstruction of the Sloboda Bridge over the Danube river in Novi Sad
Cost:€ 41 million (approx.)

Project summary

This project proposes to reconstruct Sloboda Bridge in Novi Sad in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The bridge was severely damaged in 1999 by NATO forces and cannot be used. The reconstruction of the Sloboda Bridge has been identified as an important measure to alleviate the traffic situation in Novi Sad and the region (exacerbated by the destruction of other bridges in the city), and especially to alleviate the problems of passage of river traffic on the Danube (TINA Corridor no VII).


General: The overall objective is to encourage economic growth in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its neighbouring countries through improved transport infrastructure.  
  The first specific objective is to improve the efficiency of urban and transit transportation in Novi Sad by strengthening Corridor X and thereby foster economic activity in the region. The second specific objective is to improve the river traffic on the Danube passing Novi Sad, which is presently restricted by a temporary pontoon bridge.


The following two separate activities will be carried out: 

  •        Reconstruction of the bridge (works contract)

  •        Supervision of works (supervision contract)

The works contract consists of the reconstruction of four bridge piers, reconstruction of two spans of composite structure approach bridges, the repair and reconstruction of the main cable-stay bridge and ancillary works.

The works contractor will also be entrusted with the detailed design by applying a design-build contract (based on FIDIC). This detailed design will be based on the conceptual design presently being prepared under another project financed by the EC.

The supervision of works will comprise assistance with the selection of the works contrac­tor, ap­pro­val of the works contractor’s detailed design, supervision of works in­cluding all testing of ma­terials, certifying payments to the works contractor, etc.

Local ownership

The Government is actively pursuing a strategy of rehabilitating its transport infra­struc­ture, which has significantly deteriorated through neglect, mismanagement and the recent conflicts. Novi Sad, the region and FRY will directly benefit from the reconstruction of the Sloboda Bridge. It will become a visible symbol of FRY’s political and economic rehabilitation. Moreover, City, Republican and Federal authorities will all be involved in one form or another in the reconstruction efforts and will thus receive “on-hands” experience in dealing with a major civil works contract.

Analysis of cross-cutting issues 

Economic impact: As the analysis shows, benefits to road users alone are not enough to justify the reconstruction of the Sloboda Bridge. Taking into account road user benefits and the saved costs of removing the existing Sloboda Bridge, the benefits are slightly higher than the costs of the project. In this case, the project has an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of approx. 8%; low but still acceptable. However, there will be considerable additional benefits from increased river traffic (due to the removal of the pontoon bridge) and from savings of not operating the pontoon bridge. But estimating the size of these benefits is uncertain. By adding the benefits resulting from increased river traffic and the pontoon bridge savings the IRR increases to 21%. The true IRR may well lie in the middle, a fully satisfactory 15%.
Social impact
: The proposed project will increase social mobility through a much improved transport network and increased employment opportunities of local residents.  
Institutional impact:
Likely institutional impacts will include an improved bridge maintenance unit, an improved supervision capacity of the city and of the Ministry of Transport.
Environmental impact
: Once construction is completed and the bridge is fully operational, the environmental impact of the bridge will be the same as prior to its destruction. However, when compared to the present situation (base case) the environmental impact of the reconstructed bridge is positive due to a better traffic flow resulting in reduced noise levels and emissions. During construction some temporary impacts will be encountered such as (i) sediment dispersal and sedimentation of material spilled during construction and (ii) disturbance during construction caused by noise from equipment, increased traffic, vibrations and lack of access to recreational areas.