Kosovo to build new highway to Macedonia

Prishtina – Travellers between Kosovo’s capital Prishtina and neighbouring Macedonia will have an easier time after the completion of a planned highway that will link the two destinations.

Kosovo’s government will announce next week a tender for the construction of a highway from Prishtina to Macedonia, the Macedonian newspaper Utrinski Vesti reported. Fatmir Limaj, Kosovo’s Minister of Transport and Telecommunication, who made the announcement during a meeting with his Macedonian counterpart, Mile Janakieski, also said that there will be two new border control points between the two territories.

Limaj did not offer a concrete timetable for the project, but said the road and the border control points will be a reality “in the near future,” as quoted by Utrinski Vesti.

Though the drive between Prishtina and Skopje is only 86 km, the quality of the two existing roads makes it unreliable. The main E-65 road to Skopje, which goes through the Hani i Elezit border control point, is endangered by landslides in rainy and winter weather. According to travellers, during much of the winter of 2005-06, the road was virtually impassable.

The second crossing at Globocica/Jazince and the winding mountain pass road that connects the southwestern Kosovo town of Prizren with Tetova in Macedonia is not much better. Beside the lack of clear signposting, a common annoyance associated with driving in the Balkans, travellers have reported the frequency of long queues at the crossing and the need for snow chains during the winter months.

Macedonia is Kosovo’s biggest trade partner, after Serbia. Macedonian president has recently called on his country’s business community to be ready to respond in case Serbia imposes an economic blockade on Kosovo after independence.

ECIKS / New Kosova Report