An inspection by the Czech state’s Motorways and Roads Directorate (ŘSD) has revealed that waste materials were used in the foundations of the D1 motorway (originally the D47) near Ostrava, the surface of which has become warped and needs substantial repairs, if not rebuilding.
Construction contractor Eurovia, owned by the French company Vinci, received almost Kč 6 billion to build the 8.5 kilometer stretch of motorway. Shortly after opening in 2008, bumps emerged on that part of the D1; despite repairs made by Eurovia, the surface continued to warp, prompting the ŘSD to finally conduct a thorough inspection.
The largest construction compensation claim in Czech history is likely pending, though it is not yet clear whether Eurovia will get all the blame.
In early October, ŘSD inspectors bore three holes in the D1 stretch to establish the cause of the warping, TV Nova reported. Analysis revealed that waste materials — including ruble, waste disposal pipes and old wood — were used in the foundation of the road. The ŘSD specifies in all such contracts that only specified materials (such as concrete) be used to build multi-layer foundations under the tarmac surface.
On Tuesday the daily Mladá fronta dnes (MfD) cited an internal ŘSD report that says two laboratories had conducted independent tests on the extracted materials. Due to the use of waste, the D1 strech has expanded in various areas and contracted in another spots, causing the buckling of the D1 surface and placing uneven pressure on supports of the raised sections of the road.
‘This is grounds for us to demand that Eurovia to repair the whole road, not just the surface, even if that means digging up the whole thing and building it again.’
“The contractor unequivocally carries the blame for the deformation of the road surfaces and bridges,” MfD cites the ŘSD report as saying. “This is grounds for us to demand that Eurovia to repair the whole road, not just the surface, even if that means digging up the whole thing and building it again,” ŘSD director René Poruba told the daily.
Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš (Public Affairs, VV) also told TV Nova that the complete rebuilding of the road may be necessary. But according to the channel’s report, the ŘSD inspectors are also partly to blame for the substandard road.
The company Dopravoprojekt Brno was contracted by Eurovia as the construction planner. TV Nova said the same firm also carried out some building works on the road and at the same time was contracted by the ŘSD to conduct technical inspections of the construction work — a clear conflict of interests, the ŘSD auditors say.
Eurovia, which in the Czech Republic is practically entirely dependent on state contracts, is refusing to comment on the findings of the inspection on the grounds it has yet to receive official notification and the findings from the ŘSD. The guarantee for the road reportedly expires at the end of 2012.