RIGA - Due to erroneous hydrogeological data, construction of the new underground facility for the Latvian National Museum of Art will face increased costs, by 309,000 lats (441,400 euros) more than originally planned, as Riga City Council’s Property Department Director Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga) told reporters in early November, reports LETA.
Hydrogeological surveys had erroneously found that there was no groundwater pressure at the site, which is why construction of the facility has encountered a number of unexpected problems now.
Re&Re construction company’s representative for the project, Valdis Koks, said that the higher ground water pressure than anticipated led to changes in the project - much more concrete was actually necessary than the company had originally planned, and of different quality. Likewise, the shape and number of piles had to be altered.
As a result, the project is now behind schedule and work will also continue during the winter, up until temperatures drop below minus 10 degrees Celsius. Again, work in such conditions will cost more than it would in normal conditions.
Riga City Council’s Property Department has sent a letter to Lithuanian architect office ‘Process Office’ that developed the designs for the project.
According to Burovs, Riga City Council wants the Lithuanian company, which is being blamed for the mistake, to cover the cost. At the same time, the Lithuanian company holds civil liability insurance, which means that the cost could eventually be compensated for by insurers.
A subcontractor, Buve un forma, carried out the hydrogeological survey at the site.
The construction companies working on the project have also encountered another problem: several cracks have appeared in the one of the walls of the historic building. Burovs emphasized, however, that the cracks were being monitored on a daily basis, and the situation was under control.
Representatives from both the Property Department and Re&Re declined to comment on whether it would be possible to complete the project on schedule - April 2015 - saying they would have more information after the winter is over.
The reconstruction and renovation at the National Museum of Art began this past February. The project also envisages construction of an underground two-story facility with restoration workshops, warehouses and three new exhibition halls.
Originally the project was estimated to cost more than 24 million lats, of which Riga City Council is to provide around 15 million lats, the state 243,000 lats, and the remaining 9.2 million lats comes from European Union funding.
Re&Re was the main contractor for the Zolitude Maxima store, whose roof collapsed onto shoppers last week, killing 54.