Eurovia counterattacks over warped motorway

Road construction firm Eurovia says waste material used on D47/D1 motorway complies with norms, will sue minister over claims         

Tom Jones | 22.11.2011

The road construction giant Eurovia CS held a press conference on Tuesday morning at which the firm’s CEO, Martin Borovka, claimed that not only did the waste materials which caused the warping of the D47 / D1 motorway comply with norms, the Roads and Motorway Directorate (ŘSD) had, in the project documentation, specified that such material must be used.

As such, the company says it intends to sue ŘSD head and the Minister of Transport for having called into question its project. French-owned Eurovia CS has categorically rejected any blame for using waste materials in the foundations of a stretch of the D47 / D1 near Ostrava that caused severe warping of the road, which will require major repairs, if not complete rebuilding, the ŘSD has said.

ŘSD head René Poruba and Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš (Public Affairs, VV), both said previously that the directorate — which falls under the auspices of the Transport Ministry — intends to launch a claim against Eurovia to force the firm to carry out the repair work or rebuilding.

Eurovia claims the warping of the 8.5-kilometer stretch of road was caused not by the waste materials, but by a chemical reaction in the layer of slag in the road, which was ordered by the ŘSD. Borovka told journalists that when construction began in 2003, the consequences of using the waste materials and the chemical qualities of the slag were not known. He pointed out that similar warping had occurred on roads built with waste materials and similar slag in Belgium and the Netherlands.  

The ŘSD recently bored holes in the road and sent the materials from the individual layers of materials for independent analysis that revealed large amounts of ruble, fragments of wood and plastic were used in the foundations. Eurovia said its engineers should have been present when the samples of layers were extracted.

“It’s very irregular that bores were made without the constructor being present – but with television cameras at the scene. … I don’t want to speculated as to whether this was the ŘSD’s intention or [a consequence of] their lack of experience,” Borovka said.

The consortium that won the contract to build the road was lead by ODS-Dopravní stavby Ostrava, which Eurovia took over in 2009. Eurovia, nevertheless, says its subsidiary fulfilled its contractual obligations correctly and says it will make public all of the project documentation.

Also at Tuesday’s press conference, Borovka said Eurovia intends to sue ŘSD’s Poruba and Minister Dobeš for bringing the company’s name into disrepute with comments made to the media. 

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Whilst I only have the two reports from Czech Position for information, on the face of it I think Eurovia have a point.


Surely, RSD should have discussed this problem and tried to resolve it with the company before going to press. This looks like it has the potential to backfire on the government. One can only wonder as to who provided the advice to RSD to take this course of action.

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