Benica, 26. August 2021 – The partners of the FRISCO 2.2 project “Cross-border coordinated flood risk reduction – Construction measures in the Mura river basin” gathered in Benica for the opening ceremony at the end of the construction of the high-water embankment. Together with representatives of the local community, related professional organizations and the interested public, the facility was officially opened and handed over for the purpose of protection against floods in the Mura River.
Representatives of the Slovenia Waer Agency and the Croatian partner Hrvatske vode spoke about the importance of the project, its activities and the facility for the comprehensive protection of the Mura border area from floods and praised the effectiveness of interstate cooperation. On behalf of the local community, the mayor of Lendava thanked for the newly acquired facility. In the afternoon, those present moved across the Croatian border to Sveti Martin na Muri, where the final conference of the project took place.
The FRISCO 2.2 project took care of the implementation of structural construction measures to reduce the risk of floods in the Mura River basin by reconstructing the Sveti Martin na Muri embankment on the Croatian side and the embankment near the Benica settlement on the Slovenian side of the river. Both measures provide comprehensive protection to the inhabitants of these settlements and their surroundings against the dangers of floods and improve living conditions and environmental protection. The total value of the project is almost 3 million euros, of which 85% is co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and 15% by the project partners from their own resources.
The 890-meter-long newly built embankment near Benica is located on the left bank of the Mura River in the Republic of Slovenia and is 450 meters away from the settlement of Benica in the municipality of Lendava. The construction works completed this year included the reconstruction of part of the existing embankment, construction of a new embankment, installation of drainage, construction of transition ramps, service roads and other similar construction measures for the purpose of the facility’s functionality. The value of the investment in the embankment is approximately 1.35 million euros. With its construction, the anti-flood embankments of Ledava and Mura were connected on the left side of the river, which together with measures on the Croatian side form a comprehensive defence against floods in this part of the Mura river basin.
The embankment Sveti Martin na Muri, which was completed last year, is located on the right side of the river Mura in the peripheral area of flooding in the Republic of Croatia in the municipality of Sveti Martin na Muri. The embankment is 2,000 meters long. Its reconstruction included a partial change in the route of the embankment on the left side of the Mura River, the overhang of the embankment, an increase in the cross-section and the construction of a service path.
Roman Kramer, director of the Slovenian Water Agency, emphasized on the grand opening of the embankment that such projects are extremely important for both countries, especially for the surrounding residents, as the Mura River has a strong impact on their lives. »The river gives us, but also takes away from us, so interstate cooperation on projects, such as FRISCO, is extremely important in reducing the risk of floods on the Mura River. By upgrading the high-water embankments, we comprehensively protected the surrounding residents and property on both sides of the river from the danger of floods, and improved living conditions and protected the environment. Thank you to the team for their efficient work and diligence despite the conditions created by the pandemic.«
In his address, m.sc. Zoran Đuroković, General Manager of Hrvatske vode, emphasized the importance of joint professional cooperation: »Cooperation with the Slovenian Water Agency has been going on since 2016, when we started the FRISCO 1 project, a non-construction project that provided a basis for further action. Today, five years after that, we already have a lot to show, the embankments in Benica and Sveti Martin na Muri are only a part of the investments we have made or are still in progress. Our teams are well trained and well-coordinated, and we believe that we will continue to effectively help people and nature against the dangers of floods.«
Janez Magyar, Mayor of the Municipality of Lendava, expressed his satisfaction with the significantly higher flood safety in the municipality during the symbolic takeover of the facility and praised the cooperation with investors. »Everyone here loves our Mura River. We learned to live next to it and with it in good and bad. I believe that by upgrading the embankment in Benica, all the inhabitants of the surrounding settlements and their property are now much safer from floods, their quality of life will now undoubtedly increase, as well as the possibilities for development.«
Anton Kustec, Head of the Mura Area Sector, Slovenian Water Agency, emphasized in his presentation of the embankment next to the key data: »I am glad that the work is finished, and that the embankment is standing. Floods have left considerable consequences in our places in the past. Benica has been given priority in the construction of flood protection, but we still have quite a few critical points that need to be addressed.«
Cross-border cooperation between Croatia and Slovenia promotes a sustainable, safe, and vital border area, while preserving, mobilizing and managing natural and cultural resources for the benefit of people living, working or just visiting the Mura River area. FRISCO 2.2 is already the third of four strategic projects within the Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia 2014 – 2020 Cooperation Program.
Basic information about the FRISCO project 2.2
Project Partners: Slovenian Water Agency and Hrvatske vode.
Area: Border area of the river Mura near the settlements of Benica and Sveti Martin na Muri.
Total value: 2.995.195,19 €, of which 85% from the ERDF, 15% from the partners’ own funds.
Financing: Cooperation program INTERREG V-A Slovenija-Croatia 2014 – 2020.
Project duration: 36 months (1. September 2018 – 31. August 2021)