Completion of Prague Ring Road Faces Legal Challenges and Delays

The long-awaited completion of the Prague Ring Road, known as Pražský okruh, is anticipated to encounter various legal challenges and appeals, potentially causing delays in the project timeline. Despite ongoing consultations between the Ministry of Transport, the Road and Motorway Directorate (ŘSD), Prague city districts, and Central Bohemian municipalities, legal actions are expected as the project progresses. Currently, only half of the 83-kilometer ring road is operational, with four sections yet to be constructed. The estimated cost for finishing the project is in the billions of Czech koruna.

Pražský okruh is divided into 11 sections, of which seven are already operational. The southeast section between Běchovice and the D1 highway is among the sections yet to be completed. Additionally, three northern sections between Ruzyně, Suchdol, Březiněves, and Satalice are still in planning or assessment stages. The last expansion of the ring road occurred in 2010, and the first section was inaugurated on September 20, 1983.

The spokesperson for the completion of Pražský okruh, Martin Opatrný, indicated that ŘSD aims to commence construction of the section between Běchovice and the D1 highway by the end of the following year, contingent on the resolution of appeals against the construction permit and the progress of the tender process. Opatrný added that ŘSD plans to announce the tender for the contractor by the end of this year, and the goal is to put parts of this section into operation by 2027. The estimated cost for the 12.6-kilometer stretch between Běchovice and the D1 highway ranges from 15 to 20 billion Czech koruna.

Regarding the three northern sections of Pražský okruh, ŘSD has stated that they are planned for operation by 2030. However, the timeline will be contingent on the number of appeals and lawsuits and the speed of their resolution.

Opatrný mentioned that the cost of completing all missing sections is estimated to be in the tens of billions of Czech koruna, with the final price dependent on the contractor selection process. The choice between an embankment design and tunnel construction will significantly impact costs for the section between Březiněves and Satalice.

The Ministry of Transport has also expressed its intention to prepare feasibility studies for public-private partnership projects for the northern part of Pražský okruh.

Despite ongoing consultations and compromises between various stakeholders, it is anticipated that the project will continue to face appeals and lawsuits from city districts and municipalities in Central Bohemia opposing the construction of Pražský okruh under any circumstances. These legal challenges could potentially cause further delays in the completion of the Prague Ring Road.

Article by Prague Forum

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