Koroška to get several bridges under EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Prevalje, 16 August - EU countries have donated eleven temporary bridges to the flood-stricken Slovenia under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The country's civil protection authority plans to set up six or seven of those in the northern region Koroška, one of the areas hit hardest by recent floods.

Opening of a pre-fabricated bridge across the Meža River in the wake of devastating floods.
Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

"We count on setting up six or seven bridges in Koroška, together with local communities, and that is expected to happen in the next 14 days," Leon Behin, director general of the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, said on Wednesday.

Of the eleven pre-fabricated bridges, six are already in Slovenia and five are on their way. In Koroška, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) finished building one of them on Monday, the first such bridge across the Meža River, and in Prevalje, another will soon be completed.

In the northwestern town of Škofja Loka, Italian troops and civil protection employees are erecting a temporary bridge, also under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and three are currently intended to be sent to the Savinja Valley, but the situation there does not yet allow for such construction, Behin said at a bridge opening in Prevalje.

The event was attended by THW head Sabine Lackner, who lauded cooperation with the local civil protection and stressed the importance of bridges. What impressed her recently was the construction of a pedestrian bridge in Prevalje, a project spearheaded by a local businessman.

"It has been a long time since we have seen such solidarity as we are witnessing these days," said Defence Minister Marjan Šarec, as he thanked the THW team and assured the locals they will not be left behind.

The Slovenian civil protection authority has an additional four temporary bridges itself and intends to set them up by the end of September.

All of them will be erected to connect local roads, while those linking state roads are in the domain of the Infrastructure Directorate, Behin said.

The eleven bridges provided as part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism aid have been donated by five EU countries - Croatia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Italy.

© STA, 2023