The European Investment Bank is providing a first tranche of EUR 9 million to the Republic of Montenegro to rehabilitate the national road network. The funding is part of a EUR 72 million loan to Serbia and Montenegro approved to finance road and bridges rehabilitation in the country.

The project concerns rehabilitation and backlog maintenance of the road network, including road pavements, retaining walls, repair of bridges and other structures, which have deteriorated after years of insufficient investment. Maintenance is difficult also because of the country's mountainous terrain.

The Government's efforts are currently focused on developing tourism sector, for which the efficiency of the road network will be crucial. The investment supports these efforts and will be concluded by end 2009.

This is the third operation for roads in Montenegro since 2001. Previous operations are being implemented satisfactorily and concern the Urgent Transport Rehabilitation Project (EUR 10 million) signed in 2001, and the European Roads project (EUR 24 million) signed in May 2004. Montenegro's road network includes some 7 000 km of roads (of which 1 800 on main roads) for an area of 14 000 km2, serving a population of 650 500. The road network has 312 viaducts and bridges and 136 tunnels. The main axes run north-south from the port of Bar through the capital Podgorica to Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and along the Adriatic coast.