The bridge dividing the Northern and the Southern Mitrovica was the battlefield of many conflicts in the past and since 1999 it has been the symbol of partition between Serbs and Albanians.
In July 2011, Kosovo’s police took over the control of two border crossings between Kosovo and Serbia, situated in the North (Jarinje and Brnjak), giving rise to discontent in the local Serb community. As a sign of protest against the Kosovo Government decision to deploy customs officers at the crossings to Serbia, the local Serbs erected roadblocks and blocked the traffic. The barricades were finally dismantled in June 2014, but they were immediately replaced with the so-called Peace Park.
The revitalization of the bridge over the Ibar started with removal of the Peace Park in 2016, according to the agreement reached in the EU-facilitated negotiations on the normalization of relations between Priština and Belgrade. In accordance with the agreement reached by the two negotiating parties, it was envisaged that the works on the bridge revitalization as well as on the rearrangement of King Peter Street in the northern part of the town into a pedestrian zone, with regulated traffic roads, should be finished by 20 January in the following year, when the bridge opens for traffic and pedestrians in both directions. During the entire process, the working group shall regularly monitor and reconsider the political and security conditions for reconstruction, together with both mayors in the North and in the South.
The bridge is still not open for traffic.