EUFOR and AFBiH reconstruct a bridge destroyed by the floods in the Doboj-Istok Municipality with EU financing

 As part of celebrations to mark the Municipality Day in Doboj-Istok (FBiH), a bridge over the Lukavica River was opened to the public on March 11, 2015. The bridge was destroyed during the floods in May 2014 and reconstruction was carried out by the EUFOR Mobile Mentoring Team and engineers from the Armed Forced of BiH (AF BiH). The reconstruction works started in December 2014, and they were jointly financed by the EU Floods Recovery Programme (33,000 KM) and the Doboj-Istok Municipality (20,000 KM).
In total, there are eight bridge projects financed the EU Floods Recovery Programme where the AF BiH and EUFOR are cooperating in the reconstruction process. The AF BiH engineers have been   trained in bridge construction techniques by EUFOR’s engineering specialists from Hungary under EUFOR’s Capacity-Building and Training (CB&T) programme. “We have been involved in the Lukavica River project for the past five weeks, but the preparation for the reconstruction of the bridges started a few months ago already”, said Captain István Baranyai, the Chief of the EUFOR’s Mobile Mentoring Team.

“Our colleagues from the Armed Forces of BiH were highly motivated and well trained, which contributed to us completing our part of the reconstruction work in just two weeks, once the municipality had completed their part and when the weather permitted the implementation of the works,” said Captain Baranyai.
“Last year, we were helping people affected during the catastrophic floods,” said AFBiH Sub-lieutenant Admir Kapić. “This bridge, as all others, has a symbolic meaning – bringing people together. It connects people living on one side of the bridge with the rest of the municipality. So far, we have rebuilt four bridges – two in Tuzla, one in Zvornik and one in Doboj-Istok municipality, and there are four more bridges planned for reconstruction or rehabilitation”, said Kapić.  
The Mayor of the Doboj Istok municipality, Kemal Bratić, was pleased to see the bridge back in operation.  “We are particularly grateful to the EU for investing in the reconstruction of the bridge, as it not only connects some thirty inhabitants who live on the other side of the river with the rest of the municipality, but also serves as a link for the people in the rest of the municipality with some 2000 acres of their arable land”, said Bratić.  
“This bridge means a lot to us,” said Ibrahim Suljkanović, the father of a third-grade A-student Nedim. “Ever since the floods, my son had to go to school over the fields, which was not safe at all. The old bridge that used to be here was flushed away by the floods. I would like to thank the European Union for constructing a safe bridge for us.”