Ersek: Construction of Bratislava Bypass Might Be Several Months Late

Transport Minister Arpad Ersek (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 11 (TASR) – The construction of the Bratislava bypass, which is to form part of the D4 motorway and R7 expressway, might be delayed, said Transport and Construction Minister Arpad Ersek (Most-Hid) during an inspection day at the construction site on Wednesday.

“We’re talking about several months of delay,” stated Ersek. According to the minister, the delay might chiefly occur on the D4 motorway, which includes a bridge over the Danube River. The issue of the D4’s link to the D1 motorway is yet to be resolved, as well. “By the end of October we must take up a position on who will complete the entire connection, and then the deadlines will be clearer,” said Ersek.

The minister views the R7 expressway section as the easier part of the construction project. According to him, it’s difficult to evaluate the construction delay at the moment, as there’s just one milestone stipulated in the contract, which is that the project should be completed in the autumn of 2020. “I think that this isn’t good, and we must avoid it next time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the pace of construction work has been accelerating. “The employment of workers and machinery has increased since our last meeting,” said Ersek. The road is being constructed as a public-private partnership (PPP) project. It’s being built by a consortium led by Spanish company Cintra.

According to the consortium’s representative Michal Lesnovsky, over 100 people worked on the project last month. “The work has been progressing, and the number of workers will increase along with the workload. Ground work is currently under way, but as soon as the construction of the bridges starts, there will be a rapid increase,” stated Lesnovsky.

The concessionaire has been trying to keep to the time schedule. “Working groups have been created to communicate the fine-tuning of potential delays with the ministry,” said Lesnovsky. The final deadline should be observed, but potential delays are still under discussion, he added.

Ersek said that objections filed by the public have protracted the construction work, as well. As the bypass is being built as a PPP project, the concessionaire will build it and then operate it for 30 years, with the state paying instalments over the same period. The state’s annual instalment should be €52.8 million. The construction should thus cost Slovakia €1.76 billion after 30 years and with inflation taken into account.