First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Slovakia and the Italian-Slovak consortium of Salini Impregilo and Dúha will reportedly end construction of a D1 highway stretch including the Višňové tunnel.
The planned 7.5km twin-tube Višňové Tunnel is part of the 13.4km section of the D1 between Lietavská Lúčka and Dubná Skala in northern Slovakia. Work started on what will be Slovakia’s longest tunnel in in June 2015. It is also part of the Corridor 5 of the Trans-European Networks (TEN) which links Bratislava with Uzhhorod in Ukraine and is financed by the Slovakian government and the European Union through the European Investment Bank.
Slovakia’s National Highway Company (NDS) has been under heavy criticism over construction delays and cost projections for the work that was scheduled to be finished by the end of this year. According to Slovakian media, the consortium has three months to wrap up its work but has also agreed to pay money owed to subcontractors through a new bank guarantee.
Michaela Michalová, a spokesman for NDS, said a new contractor will emerge from a transparent competition in the coming months.
"It is our goal to complete the project by 2023 because it is financed with [European Union] funds," said Árpád Érsek, transport minister, as quoted by the Slovak News Agency SITA.
The original design and build contract was worth about €410 million when signed in 2014, according the a statement Salini Impregilo at the time. Construction was expected to take five and half years.