Except the ferry, Križnica is also connected with the mainland by a suspension bridge that is 250 m long consisting of 1326 planks. Crossing it is an adventure in itself because the bridge moves and trembles, but there is a breathtaking view of the wild and vivid river from the left and right. The span of the bridge is 164 m, but the actual length with access points is 250 m and is the only way to exit Križnica when the ferry doesn’t operate. If there were no bridge, life for the 40 families, 110 residents, would be practically impossible.
The bridge has become one of the icons of the Drava. Artists of different kinds find inspiration on it, couple like to stroll on the bridge and create an unforgettable memory of their first kiss.
How did the construction begin and how is it connected to the Vukovar water tower
“In 1967 the local residents of Pitomača asked me (Vlado Petrović, mining director, Martin Šoštarić, secretary of the local community and Valdo Galunić, mining engineer) to, as a project creator of many buildings in the “Hidroprojekt” company in Zagreb, design a project of a suspension bridge over the river Drava near Pitomača, by which, except for ferry which was used only in day time (operated by the legendary ferryman Toth), residents would have access to the left and right banks of the Drava. In that way it would be possible to cross the river even at night. The border military station had a special interest in this.
I am not certain until this day why they have chosen me to design the project because I have never had the chance to design anything similar in the past. Supposedly, they chose me as the constructor after consulting with each other since I have been constructing hidrotechnical buildings in “Hidroprojekt”.
The main condition was that the bridge could withstand maximum pedestrian crossing (250 kg/m2).
I have to admit that the demand – designing and constructing such a building – had created a spark of enthusiasm in me as a young engineer. I even forgot to sign the agreement for designing the bridge.
The local community of Pitomača with the help of the Municipality of Đurđevac financed the most important expenses; the extremely modest designing cost, supplying the main bridge parts (the main cables, steel pipes for the towers and cement). Part of the materials were financed by the local community. The main builders were “Elektrokovinar” from Ptuj (director Jurica Podgorelec) with cooperation from “Metalnom” from Maribor with contributing workforce by local people and the military from the local barrack, who volunteered for building the concrete pilons and anchoring blocks and assisted in mounting the bridge elements.”
Ah, yes, now we have come to the part how the bridge is associated with the Vukovar water tower. The above story was told by the same person who designed the Vukovar water tower – Matej Meštrić.