Metro impatient to start bridge construction

THE CHIEF investor for Bratislava's Košická bridge project - the planned fifth bridge across the Danube river - has announced plans to sign a construction contract, despite a pending lawsuit by the losing bidder in the bridge's tender proceedings.

Metro Bratislava, co-owned by the Slovak state and the city of Bratislava, selected the consortium of Slovak construction giant Doprastav and Austrian company Vatech Voest over a consortium led by Austrian steelworks Alpine Mayreder in a two-round tender, which closed in late summer.

The Alpine-led group had complained that despite being chosen by the tender's selection committee in both rounds, the evaluation committee had selected Doprastav both times. Alpine also claimed that Doprastav's price estimate was unrealistically low.

"At the moment, Metro is preparing conditions for the fastest possible signing of the contract [with Doprastav]. The two sides should officially sign the contract within a month," said Metro director general Vladimír Kovalčík.

Alpine appealed the tender decision in early October in Bratislava Regional Court, and a decision on the appeal is due within 30 days.

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