By: G.B., STA
Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec and the mayors of Cerkno Gašper Uršič and Gorenja vas-Poljane Milan Čadež signed a protocol on further implementation of road infrastructure on the part of the 4th development axis between Cerkno and Hotavlje. This is an important step towards the realisation of a new road connection between Gorenjska and Primorska regions after 15 years.
The protocol, which has the character of a letter of intent and was signed today at the Ministry of Infrastructure, defines further steps for the preparation of the national spatial plan or activities for the modernisation of the existing road connection on the 4.a development axis between Cerkno and Hotavlje. The signed protocol obliges all three parties to bring the project to the building permit and in the foreseeable future also to the construction.
As Vrtovec emphasised at the signing, one of his priorities and precedence efforts is to connect Slovenia with a good primary infrastructure, as quality and safe road connections are key to the economic development and population of this part of northern Primorska and Gorenjska regions and their connection with the state center.
The Minister praised the good cooperation of both municipalities and mayors with the Ministry in actively finding a solution and their unification with the new southern variant, at the same time he also announced some interventions on the 4.a axis next year, when the existing road connection is to be modernised, which is a first part of the route of the new road of 4.a axis. The Minister committed himself to manage a dialogue with the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning for the earliest possible placement in the area of the part of the road that will be newly built, which is a lengthy process.
The new connection between Primorska and Gorenjska regions will make an important contribution to improving the security and accessibility as well as the development opportunities of the wider region, especially northern Primorska. The mayor of Cerklje is also convinced that today’s signing is of historical significance for the two municipalities, which a year ago, together and in cooperation with the Ministry, actively participated in the search for acceptable solutions for both municipalities. He expressed satisfaction that in the document signed today, all three parties accepted their share of responsibility for the successful completion of the project.
Čadež is also convinced that the signing of the protocol between the municipalities and the ministry is a very important and binding document for all three parties, as the story outlined by the then Žirovska statement continues after 15 years. After several years of making studies of variants, some of which were unfeasible, the key moment was a year ago when the mayors agreed that the new southern route is the most feasible, that it is the easiest to place in space and that it brings the highest added value to the local communities.
Regarding the route between Cerkno and Gorenja vas, the Ministry or the Directorate for Infrastructure prepared several possible solutions. As the results of engineering-geological mapping of variants in the Kladje area showed that all the southern variants drawn so far run through a geologically very unstable area and their placement would require significantly more extensive and expensive measures than envisaged in the conceptual design, they examined three additional southern variants. In autumn 2019, they also checked the environmental, spatial, and economic feasibility of new southern variants on the route of the fourth development axis between Cerkno and Hotavlje.
After presenting all three new southern variants of the route of the new road to mayors Uršič and Čadež at the beginning of last year, agreed on the most suitable southern variant, which runs along the existing Hotavlje-Sovodenj road and envisages almost two kilometres long tunnel under Kladje in Podlanišče with an exit on the eastern slope of Cerkljanski vrh. The route then descends into the valley of Cerknica and then joins the main road a good kilometre from Želin.