Modernized Tunnel Ivan now Open for Traffic

The motorway A1 on Corridor Vc is one of the most complex road construction projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This highway connects southern Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia in the north. One part of this project is the extension and modernization of Tunnel Ivan.

The mountain pass Ivan connects Sarajevo with Mostar in BiH and is located between Tarčin and Bradina. The first tunnel (625m) through Mount Ivan was a railway tunnel built in 1880. A second one with 3,230m was built in the 1930s and is now a rail track between Sarajevo and Ploče. In the late 1970s, the first tunnel was converted into a one-pipe tunnel for the main road M-17.

As the most important connection between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar, the single-tube tunnel could not handle the increasing traffic. The Bosnian Autoceste FBiH (Public Company Motorways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ltd. Mostar) decided to replace it with a modern two-tube road tunnel with a total length of 1,761m, including the portal and five crosscuts.

The 57 million Euro project was financed by grants from the "Western Balkans Investment Framework" (WBIF) and a loan from the European Investment Bank. The contract was awarded Euro-Asfalt d.o.o. from Sarajevo with the Italian IRD Engineering supervising. Construction for the new Tunnel Ivan began in October 2019.

Ivan Planina (Ivan Mountain) is part of the Dinaric Alps in southcentral Europe, separating the Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic Sea and stretching from Italy to Albania. They are formed of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks of dolomite, limestone, and sandstone. On these grounds, the decision was made to excavate according to NATM (New Austrian Tunneling Method).

DSI Underground produced and supplied the DSI Hollow Bar System to support and stabilize the tunnel perimeter. The Hollow Bar System is ideally suited for poor or unstable soils, allowing drilling, installation, and grouting in a single step. DSI also provided the AT – Casing System Ø114mm, installed with 10 driving lengths of 15m, to strengthen the ground.

In October 2021, Euro-Asfalt broke through, marking the end of the excavation. Tunnel Ivan opened to traffic in September 2022 and now offers connections to the old route, the railway from Sarajevo to Ploče, the main road M-17, and highway A1. With the tunnel opening, Tunnel Ivan is the third tunnel on Corridor Vc to be finished.

Owner:            Autoceste FBiH - Public Company Motorways of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ltd. Mostar

Engineers:      IRD Engineering S.r.l., Italy

Contractor:     Euro-Asfalt d.o.o. Sarajevo (BiH)

DSI Unit:         DSI Underground Austria GmbH

DSI Scope:     Production, supply

DSI Products: DSI Hollow Bar System, AT – Casing System Ø114mm 10 x 15m x 35m

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