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Cabinet kept its highways promise, says transport minister

THE GOVERNMENT has already fulfilled its promise to extend Slovakia’s network of completed and opened highways and dual carriageways, the Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny said, as reported by the SITA newswire. The cabinet of Robert Fico had promised to finish 100 km of new highways and dual carriageways by 2010.

THE GOVERNMENT has already fulfilled its promise to extend Slovakia’s network of completed and opened highways and dual carriageways, the Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny said, as reported by the SITA newswire. The cabinet of Robert Fico had promised to finish 100 km of new highways and dual carriageways by 2010.

“We still have about a year and a half to go beyond the promise by 60 to 70 km,” SITA quoted Vážny as saying on April 15, after the cabinet had agreed on the conditions for a contract with private companies to build about 75 km of the northern part of the D1 highway within the framework of a PPP project.

Vážny is supposed to sign the contract by mid-June, the ČTK newswire reported. The highway will be built and maintained by a consortium including Slovak companies Doprastav and Váhostav-SK, France’s Bouygues Travaux Publics and Colas, Hungary’s Intertoll-Europe and Portuguese company Mota-Engil, ČTK wrote.

In connection with the second package of PPP projects for the construction and maintenance of some parts of the R1 dual carriageway Vážny said that actual start and completion dates for construction work would depend on financial aspects of the projects.

“The finishing dates are at the moment in the hands of the commercial banks that are providing the loans,” SITA quoted Vážny as saying. “The dates have been postponed with respect to the original offers, since the concession contract was not signed on the expected date because of revisions in the competition.”

At the moment, the situation on the financial markets makes it clear that if the PPP projects are to move forward as an added value beyond the programme statement of the government, it is necessary to be flexible, especially when it comes to dates, Vážny said.

An appendix to the concession contract for construction of the R1 dual carriageway that the cabinet has approved should, according to Vážny, resolve the shifting of dates.

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