Construction of the last, problematic stretch of the D1 cross country highway, Turany-Hubová, has moved forward. The Environment Ministry has finally issued a final opinion in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and approved the construction of the D1 highway stretch Turany-Hubová in the variant with the Korbeľka tunnel. This variant bypasses the valleys of the Lower Fatra mountain range and is more environmentally friendly than the originally planned surface variant.
The final position of the Environment Ministry will be binding for the Transport Ministry.
“The Environment Ministry agrees with the variant with the Korbeľka tunnel,” said Tomáš Ferenčák, spokesperson for the Environment Ministry, as cited by the SITA newswire. “There are several factors in favour of this solution.”
This solution represents the smallest risk in terms of landslides and construction of the tunnel is more suitable for this route and for nature itself.
The Turany-Hubová stretch of the D1 Bratislava-Košice highway connecting the Turiec and Liptov regions is very demanding from the viewpoint of the protection of nature and geology as well as financing. So far the state has pushed for the cheaper surface variant which would have a more harmful impact on the nature reservations of the Lower and Higher Fatras mountains but after a landslide during construction of the surface highway near Šútovo in 2013, it began reconsidering the final route, and the oldest variant with the Korbeľka tunnel was again under consideration.
Construction of this stretch, 13.53 km long, should start in 2021 and be complete in 2026 but the stretch still does not have financing secured.
“The investor, the National Highway company, is now preparing all the steps necessary for construction work to be launched as soon as possible and securing finances for the preparation and then for the construction of this stretch would be of key importance,” said Karolína Ducká, spokesperson of the Transport Ministry, as cited by the TASR newswire. “It will be possible to publish an exact timetable of individual steps only after the decision about the financing of the further construction of the highways and dual carriageways is made.”
Environmental activists have already hailed the Environment Ministry’s decision.