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FOMET's major project

By Maj. Ladislav Ruzicka
First published in
SFOR Informer #99, October 25, 2000

Cemerno Osje - Due to the geological situation in Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH), the construction of roads on the mountains is a very difficult technical problem. Former paths were first widened and later extended to roads. The specific geological situation was not always considered. Consequently landslides occurred and damaged the roads.
"My main task at the present time is to fix the major landslide on the Theatre Control Road (TCR) called Riesling" said German Lt. Col. Gerhard Brandt, Chief of Freedom of Movement (FOMET), HQ SFOR Engineer Branch.
"This road is parallel to the border of Montenegro - Serbia and is in very bad condition. Landslides on the road can occur any moment and then the whole route will be interrupted. A bypass is not available there," said Brandt.
Brandt has to co-ordinate the execution together with the Road Directorate of Republika Srpska (RDRS). "The project actually started in April 1999. FOMET was tasked by COMSFOR to upgrade the divisional road to a Theatre Control Road. For this purpose approximately nine million DM in funds were approved. And then in April, I started the project to improve the road," said Brandt.
This means that SFOR signed responsibility to fix five major landslides and RDRS signed responsibility to repair two war-damaged bridges, the surface of the road and some undermining.
"Right now we are carrying out the biggest project on the road, in Cemerno. There has been a long preparation time for this because of complicated geological investigation. The design creation also took a long time," continued Brandt.
Work on the project began 4 August. Its estimated price is approximately 5,7 million DM. The SFOR Project Officer for the project is Slovak Lt. Col. Radislav Jelinek, the Chief of Mobile Team Southeast. The main Serbian contractor for reconstruction is Hydrogradnja Srbinje Company and there are two subcontractors: GeoProject Ljubljana of Slovenia and Geotechnika Zagreb of Croatia. Traser Sarajevo provides daily on-site supervision.
Contractors are currently working on the main retaining wall and a drainage system. The wall has a 94 -1,2m diameter and 25-metre deep piles and 46 anchors.That means more than 200 tons of steel and more than 4000m3 of concrete will be used.
"The project will solve a very old problem. The Cemerno - Osje landslide occurred at the end of the fifties and beginning of the sixties, after the road connecting East Hercegovina and South Bosnia had been constructed. The road was built without appropriate geotechnical studies, so after several years some small landslides appeared randomly along the roadway. Then the process expanded to the whole Cemerno - Osje amphitheater," said Jelinek.
The last phase will be final reconstruction of the existing road. Weather conditions permitting, the project should be finished by the end of November.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Germany, Slovakia