Delegation of the European Union to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Zrnovci gets a new bridge as EU concludes flood recovery program

Skopje, 07/06/2018 - 11:18, UNIQUE ID: 180607_12
Press releases

With the official re-opening of a fully reconstructed bridge in Zrnovci, the European Union today marked the successful completion of a1 10-million program funded by the European Union aiming to rebuild roads, dams and other infrastructure damaged in the floods that hit the south and east of the country in early 2015. With  EUR 800,000, the 86-meter bridge was one of the biggest projects undertaken as part this program, which was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). " The reconstruction of the bridge in Zrnovci was part of the 10M€ EU Flood Recovery Programme. It was designed in response to the damages caused in transport and water management infrastructure by the flash floods in 2015," said EU Ambassador Samuel Zbogar. “It is important to note that the assistance goes beyond simple restoration of the damage as it was before the floods. We wanted to rebuild damaged infrastructure in a way to make them more resilient to future disasters. The bridge in Zrnovci was completely rebuilt due to the heavy damages. The new Zrnovci bridge restores normal connections to work, school and vital public services for local residents. This and the  other roads, dams and bridges that were constructed or reconstructed with EU funds   show what we really mean by ‘EU for You.’”

"The Zrnovci bridge, like all of the projects in this program, has been reconstructed in line with our commitment to ‘build back better,’” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “Our work leaves communities that suffered damage in the floods of 2015 with better protection from future disasters. And investing in prevention is always better, and cheaper, than rebuilding after another disaster.”

"Local residents were patient in waiting for their new bridge,” said Zrnovci Mayor Blaze Stankov. “With connections restored to Kocani and the rest of the country, we now see that it was well worth the wait.”

In addition to the Zrnovci bridge, the EU flood-recovery programme funded the reconstruction of important transport infrastructure in seven other locations, including bridges in Delcevo and Sveti Nikole, a culvert in Cheshinovo-Obleshevo, a stabilized landslide near Probishtip, and long road networks in Mogila, Novaci, and Konce. In addition, the program has cleaned up tens of kilometers of channels in Crna and Strumica river basins. Restoration of two dams, Mavrovica dam in Sveti Nikole and Lipa dam near Negotino is completely finished, while there is ongoing reconstruction of Slatino and Drenska dam.

UNDP was implemented the program in partnership with the Secretariat for European Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Public Enterprise for State Roads and the local self-governments of the affected municipalities.