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More expensive than Yuzhny? The government approved a loan for the construction of a new bridge in Riga

Дороже, чем Южный? Правительство одобрило кредит для строительства нового моста в Риге

The Cabinet of Ministers agreed to allocate a loan of 36 million euros for the construction of an overpass at Kundzinsala in Riga. The bridge promises to become the most expensive transport infrastructure facility in Riga after the South Bridge: the total cost of this project will be more than 82 million euros. Rus.Lsm.lv writes about this with reference to the Latvian Radio. The overpass should be built on the right bank of the Daugava and connect Sarkandaugava with Kundzinsala, becoming a continuation of the Eastern Highway and the Daudersala overpass. It is expected that the new bridge will allow trucks to get to the port much more conveniently, without having to go through the busy Ganibu dambis and Uriekstes in Sarkandaugava. The length of the new crossing will be about half a kilometer – approximately the same as the Daudersal overpass over the Riga – Skulte railway line. The bridge will be built over Sarkandaugava, a branch of the Daugava on the right bank. Its construction is estimated at more than 82 million euros, of which 23 million euros are government funding, and the rest is a state loan of almost 60 million euros, which Riga will have to repay within 30 years. Currently, Riga's debt obligations amount to 560 million euros. With new loans, the capital's debt will increase. By the way, the “golden” South Bridge turned 15 years old last year. On November 17, 2009, it was inaugurated for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Due to the enormous costs of its construction, the South Bridge is popularly called one of the most expensive bridges in the world. For its construction, the Riga municipality took out a loan, which was initially planned to be repaid within 20 years. The total cost of the bridge upon completion of the work reached about 570 million lats (more than 810 million euros), notes the LETA agency. This is at least twice as expensive as it cost France to build the famous Millau Viaduct – a bridge 2.4 km long and 343 meters high. The Riga City Council and construction contractors rejected accusations that the project's estimates were inflated, arguing that the costs were calculated incorrectly. In 2009, the National Audit Office published the results of an audit, according to which cost overruns during the construction process amounted to 27 million lats (41 million euros). These funds were never recovered from the contractors. Will this project ever be finished? Read more in the article – “Golden” South Bridge is 15 years old. Will this project ever be completed?

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