City Council To Appeal Competition Authority Decision on City Ring Road

At the end of February, the Office for the Protection of Competition (UOHS) cancelled the tender for the public contract for Stage II of the Outer Ring Road section being constructed at Zabovresky (VMO Žabovřeská), calling the project into question. The decision followed a complaint by Slovak company Destruktprojekt. Now the City of Brno and the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate (RMD) have announced that they will appeal against this decision. Photo credit: MMB.

Brno, Mar 10 (BD) – In their submissions, the City of Brno and the RMD dispute Destruktprojekt’s legal standing. According to Brno Mayor Marketa Vankova: “In our opinion, the company should not have been able to file an objection at all, because given their capabilities it was not realistic for them to bid for the public contract. Mainly because – to put it simply – they have a trade license for the construction of buildings, not for the construction of roads.”

David Fiala, Director of the RMD, also defended the city’s requirement for a trade license for the assembly, repair, inspection and testing of electrical equipment, which was part of the technical specifications in the tender but was described by UOHS as “excessive and disproportionate”. According to Fiala: “Our interest as a contracting authority is smooth deliveries – and it should be emphasized that the work in question related to electrical equipment costing more than CZK 150 million. Therefore, we decided that we would evaluate applicants according to the content of the subject of each trade license submitted. In other words, it was not important what the activity is called, but how exactly it is described and defined.”

Construction of VMO Žabovřeská. Photo credit: MMB.

The construction of VMO Žabovřeská is one of the city’s strategic projects, and should significantly improve traffic conditions in the north of Brno. So far, this section of the road has acted as a bottleneck. A tram line runs alongside the existing two-lane road, but the narrow corridor between the river and the rock massif does not allow space for the road to be expanded to a four-lane road as required by the ring road project. As a result, this part of the VMO construction work will include relocation of the tram line through a tunnel, and a subsequent extension of the road to two lanes in both directions. The work will ease traffic in the whole north-western sector of the city, as far as the Husovice tunnel.

The construction work began in 2018, and was expected to be completed in 2023. The project is divided into two stages; the first stage is currently underway and should be completed by the end of this year. The second stage, consisting mainly of the widening of the road and the construction of a tunnel in the rock above the river, was due to begin this spring.

Construction of VMO Žabovřeská. Photo credit: MMB.

Complications have already affected the first stage, which was delayed by the unexplained withdrawal of the company Water From Tetčice. The dismissal of the appeal and confirmation of the building permit took nine months. Nevertheless, in order to be able to complete the project on time, especially given the need to meet deadlines for drawing on European subsidies, the city management, RMD and DPMB agreed on the complete suspension of tram line 1, to allow work at the site to be carried out faster. For this reason, the summer holidays will see repair work on the track on Veveri, where enhanced public transport lines will pass in the direction of Bystrc.

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