BiH’s road infrastructure is fairly poor and underdeveloped. At the time of this report’s publication, BiH has 220 kilometers of usable highways (113 kilometers in the Federation and 106 kilometers in the RS). Trunk roads and regional roads, with a total length of 8,501 km, represent the country’s core road network. BiH is focused on finishing Corridor Vc, the only major highway that connects north and south BiH in a single stretch. Once completed, the highway will link BiH with European road networks. The Corridor Vc project, a major road construction project that has made some progress since it was first designed, is a part of the Trans-European ground corridors network. Its final design will connect the central part of the Adriatic Sea coast and Budapest, Hungary. The Corridor Vc will run 336 kilometers in BiH from north to south. The Bosnian Government has taken out multiple loans from lenders, primarily European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB), to fund the construction of the Corridor Vc.
Corridor Vc’s central objectives are BiH’s inclusion into Europe’s main traffic flows, as well as easier access to the European marketplace. Experts predict that the motorway will be the prime mover of economic activities in BiH and should enable connectivity to its neighboring countries and regions. Historically, advancement in this sector has been impeded by issues concerning inter-entity coordination, the absence of a coherent strategic vision, political obstructionism, and a lack of funding. In March 2022, the EU temporarily suspended financing of the construction of Corridor Vc in Republika Srpska until the work of state level institutions is unblocked by the Republika Srpska representatives. The December 2017 passage of a KM 0.15 (9 cent) per liter increase in fuel excise taxes to fund road construction has eased financial constraints on building highways in BiH. Though progress is discouragingly slow, highway construction is ongoing.
The best opportunity may lie in the two most difficult segments of the project – the 60 kilometer stretch from Zenica to the border with Croatia (north of Sarajevo) and the 125 kilometer stretch from Tarcin to Bijaca (the southern end point). The estimated cost of construction for those two segments is approximately EUR 2 billion. Procurement of construction equipment, such as asphalt patchers, bulldozers, backhoes, cranes, excavators, and mowing equipment, as well as other road construction equipment, presents significant opportunities as the construction of Corridor Vc continues.
An agreement has been reached on the Sarajevo-Belgrade Highway project, planned to be built between Sarajevo and Belgrade with Turkey’s support. Set to connect Sarajevo and Belgrade, the project is reported to cost around 1.8 billion euros (around $2.1 billion). However, debate over the highway’s route is ongoing and will require continued negotiations before construction can begin.
RS Highways launched an international tender for the construction of three sections of the highway from Vukosavlje, through Brčko and Bijeljina, to Rača and the border with Serbia, with a total value of KM 1.35 billion ($813 million). The tender is divided into three lots – the Vukosavlje-Brčko section, with an estimated value of KM 600 million ($31 million), the Brčko-Bijeljina section, which should cost KM 310 million ($186.7 million), and the Bijeljina-Rača section, worth KM 440 million ($265 million). The Vukosavlje-Brčko section is about 33 kilometers long, the Brčko-Bijeljina section is 17 kilometers, and Bijeljina-Rača is 20 kilometers. Successful companies or consortia to which the contracts will be awarded will be obliged to provide at last 85% of the project funding while the RS government will provide loan guarantees.
BiH Ministry of Transport and Communication
Road Directorate of the Republika Srpska
Road Directorate of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina