Bratislava, February 20 (TASR) – The Transport and Construction Ministry has no doubts regarding the transparency and quality of the Bratislava road bypass project as a whole, the ministry’s communications department told TASR on Monday.
The ministry also pledged its “readiness at all times to answer all enquiries concerning this project, which has been recognised as Europe’s best PPP [public-private partnership] project in 2016,” said the ministry.
The ministry spoke in the wake of a statement by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which has chipped in €427 million towards the Bratislava bypass. EIB vice-president Vazil Hudak said that the bank has been informed of several reservations regarding the effectiveness of the project. If EIB’s review in the weeks to come finds the doubts to be substantiated, EIB doesn’t exclude the possibility of pulling out of the venture.
According to the ministry, the tender to build and operate the bypass, which should form part of the D4 motorway and R7 expressway, attracted the world’s top companies. “No bidder was excluded from the tender, and no appeals were lodged against it. The bidders themselves voiced their appreciation for the transparency of the entire procedure,” said the ministry, adding that the funding banks received thorough information throughout the process and provided their own assessments of it.
“EIB representatives provided their own analysis of the project at a public seminar,” said the ministry, adding that the reservations raised regarding the project concern misinterpretations of the feasibility study and internet articles covering it.
A consortium led by Spanish firm Cintra, which won the tender for the bypass, has launched archaeological work on the future road, while the actual construction work should begin in March 2017. The road is intended to be completed in October 2020, but the R7 expressway should be opened to traffic as early as in April 2020. The annual instalments are projected to be €52.8 million over 30 years of operating the road, which will then be transferred into state ownership. After 30 years and with inflation taken into account the bypass should cost around €1.76 billion.