Ersek in Talks on 6% Cut in Price of Presov’s Southwestern Bypass

Minister of Transport and Construction Arpad Ersek (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 16 (TASR) – The Transport and Construction Ministry led by Arpad Ersek (Most-Hid) has already held talks with the contractor for the southwestern bypass around the city of Presov on the D1 motorway on reducing the price of the construction work, ministry spokesperson Karolina Ducka confirmed for TASR on Thursday.

Ersek said on Monday (February 13) that the ministry wants to reduce the price of the bypass, which has been tendered out for €356.3 million (excluding VAT), by 6 percent.

“I can confirm that the first meeting has already taken place. However, we won’t comment on the course of the negotiations,” said Ducka.

The ministry tasked the Forensic Engineering Institute with recalculating the project. It’s found potential for saving 6 percent from the price of the D1 Presov West-Presov East section. “I called on the contractor – the consortium that is to construct this section – and I called on engineers and forensic experts to sit at a single table this week to discuss where they see inflated prices and the potential for savings,” said Ersek on Monday.

The bypass should be constructed by a consortium comprised of Eurovia SK, Eurovia CS, Doprastav, Metrostav and Metrostav Slovakia. The consortium won the tender, but the contract for the bypass hasn’t yet been signed. The project is currently undergoing a new environmental impact assessment (EIA). An EIA study was prepared in the past, but it no longer meets the EU’s requirements. Ersek estimates that the new study might be completed in June.

The minister presented the possibilities for price reductions after analysts of the Finance Ministry’s Value for Money team sent a letter to President Andrej Kiska describing options for resolving Presov’s traffic problems that would cost around €400 million less than planned. Subsequently, the Finance Ministry’s Financial Policy Institute (IFP) came up with yet another alternative in which the city’s northern bypass would follow a modified route and include a tunnel, ultimately bringing savings of €220 million.

Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD) came to an agreement with Ersek on modifying Presov’s planned northern bypass on Wednesday (February 15). While the tender for the southwestern bypass has already been completed and the respective contract is about to be signed, the tender for the northern bypass hasn’t even been announced yet.