Activists and nature conservationists have been reiterating for years that the best route for the highway connecting Turany with Hubová in northern Slovakia is that with the Korbeľka tunnel. Now also highway builders have joined this opinion. A study evaluating impacts of construction and operation of this highway stretch picks the variant with the Korbeľka tunnel as the least harmful for people and nature.
The Turany-Hubová stretch of the D1 Bratislava-Košice highway connecting the Turiec and Liptov regions is very demanding from the viewpoint of protection of nature, geology as well as financing. So far the state has pushed for a cheaper surface variant with more harmful impacts on the nature reservations of Lower and Higher Fatras mountains. But after a landslide during construction of the surface highway near Šútovo in 2013 it began reconsidering the final route, and the oldest variant with the six-kilometre Korbeľka tunnel was again under consideration.
Now also the study, which the Dopravoprojekt company elaborated for the National Highway Company (NDS), recommends the variant with the Korbeľka tunnel and ecoducts, i.e. green bridges for animals. Results of the study were revealed in early August.
NDS has identified with its recommendations.
“NDS leans towards the tunnel variant with the Korbeľka tunnel and ecoducts 250 metres wide,” said NDS spokesperson Michaela Michalová.
The change in the opinion on routing and return to the oldest variant has pleased nature conservationists.
“We hear with pleasure that also the National Highway Company leans toward the tunnel variant of the D1 stretch Turany-Hubová,” said the SOS/Birdlife Slovakia as cited by the My Liptovské Noviny weekly. “This is excellent news for everyone who tried to persuade those competent that it is a mistake to build the highway via the valley endangering peatlands, caves, protected territories and citizens.”