Major Setback: Completion of D35 Highway in the Czech Republic Delayed to 2030, Exceeding 50-Year Timeline

The ambitious project of constructing the D35 highway in the Czech Republic, a monumental effort spanning half a century, faces further delays, pushing its completion deadline to 2030. The highway, connecting Hradec Králové and Olomouc, with a total length of 210 kilometers, has been under construction since the 1970s, and the prolonged timeline has not only raised concerns about project management but also significantly increased costs, according to the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ).

Despite governmental decrees dating back 22 years stipulating that the construction of all sections should commence by 2010, as of May this year, only 90 kilometers of the highway have been completed, while 108 kilometers remain in the preparatory phase. This stark discrepancy highlights the challenges and setbacks faced in realizing this critical infrastructure project.

The NKÚ’s focus on the preparation of 14 sections and the period from 2017 to 2023 has unveiled broader institutional inefficiencies in executing the highway construction. Delays in the completion of the D35 highway have far-reaching consequences, including heightened accident rates, adverse environmental impacts, and a substantial escalation in construction costs.

Despite acknowledging the setbacks, the Ministry of Transport remains committed to accelerating the construction process. The ministry asserts that, if all goes according to plan, the highway could be finalized by 2029. Construction of one of the missing sections commenced last week, signaling a renewed effort to make progress on this long-awaited and crucial transportation infrastructure.

Once completed, the D35 highway, weaving through Jičín, Hradec Králové, Olomouc, and Lipník nad Bečvou, will stand as the second-longest highway in the Czech Republic. The extended timeline, however, underscores the need for comprehensive reviews of project management practices and strategic interventions to ensure the timely and efficient completion of vital infrastructure projects for the benefit of the nation.

Article by Prague Forum

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