Road building on the cheap

  • 2010-09-15
  • From wire reports

RIGA - “Road construction costs in Latvia during the past several years have increased rapidly, especially while Ainars Slesers (Latvia’s First Party/Latvia’s Way) was transport minister,” says Latvia’s Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (New Era), reports news agency LETA. He adds that “however, road construction quality has not increased by much,” while speaking during an interview on Latvian Radio Sept. 8.

Dombrovskis said that he wishes to personally make sure that the road construction quality inspection system in Latvia is working. The prime minister is also intending to meet with the responsible officials at the Transport Ministry, as well as with road construction companies. If these companies have been building low quality roads, they will be held accountable, said Dombrovskis.

According to the magazine Ir, the company Slokenbeka is to turn to the Office of the Prosecutor with a request to begin a criminal process concerning renovation work by the firm A.C.B. on the Salaspils-Babite section of the Riga bypass, which was carried out last autumn.

Slokenbeka says it drilled samples from the road, without consulting road management company Latvijas Valsts celi, and then sent these abroad for analysis. The results confirmed that a certain material could not be found, which should have been there, and which had been the most expensive item on the cost estimate.

“Since we have information in our possession that similar things have happened with other roads, a stop must be put to this once and for all. Such actions create great losses not only for the state, but also for those companies who wish to take part in state tenders on an honest basis,” indicated Slokenbeka Chairman Maris Paiders.