published: 01.08.2012, 09:47 | updated: 01.08.2012 09:50:16
Prague - The Blanka tunnel, part of the Prague ring road and the biggest city tunnel in Europe, will be open on May 1, 2014 and cost 36 billion crowns, Hospodarske noviny (HN) daily writes today, referring to the Prague City Hall.
The 6382-metre-long tunnel was originally to cost 26 billion crowns. Former Prague mayor Pavel Bem guaranteed this sum in 2007.
Jan Beranek, head of the Prague City Hall municipal investment section, told the paper that it was clear already in the beginning that the tunnel would cost at least 32 billion because the total sum mentioned did not include the price of technologies.
But Bem claimed even in late 2010 that the tunnel´s price will not exceed 28 billion.
The new City Hall headed by Bohuslav Svoboda revealed in February 2011 that the official costs of Blanka increased by 10 billion. New Mayor Svoboda said the City Hall managed to lower the costs by two billion, to 36 billion.
Svoboda said he put aside a reserve of 800 million crowns, but he does not plan to spend it.
Bem challenged the increased costs and said Svoboda´s team was to blame for it, HN writes.
Earlier this year, Bem was forced to suspend his membership of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) because leaked wiretappings showed that controversial lobbyist Roman Janousek influenced major decisions of the City Hall under Bem.
Svoboda´s team said the highest increase in the price was due to changes in the digging of the tunnel that had to be made following a series of collapses and because of the geological conditions.
Svoboda said audits did not reveal any facts based on which a criminal complaint might be filed in connection with the increased price of the construction.
In 2008, land caved in twice in the Stromovka park due to the ongoing construction of the tunnel.
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