Sofia Municipality to terminate road repair contracts with construction companies

Written by on October 3, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Sofia Municipality to terminate road repair contracts with construction companies

Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova said on October 3 that she would terminate contracts with two companies which had been chosen to do street repairs, because the quality of their work was considered poor, according to Bulgarian-language media reports. The companies are “Roads and Facilities” and PST Group.

This is about road work in eight quarters of the Bulgarian capital. Among the streets not repaired well, in the opinion of Sofia Municipality, are Shipchenski Prohod Boulevard, and boulevards Assen Yordanov and Iskarsko Chausee. In this case, the contract is worth eight million leva (about 4.09 million euro).

A few weeks ago, Fandukova said that she was unhappy with some of the repairs. Therefore, a fine in the amount of 130 000 leva (66 460 euro) was imposed on the company. On top of that, an amount of 550 000 leva would not be paid.

Fandukova said on October 3 that she would end the contract with “Roads and Facilities” for ongoing repairs in the Oborishte, Serdika, Poduyane and Novi Iskar quarters of Sofia, as well as a contract with PST Group, regarding road work in Ovcha Kupel, Bankya, Krasna Polyana and Krasno Selo.

Tram tracks on Boulevard Dondukov, in August of 2017. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

In total, Sofia Municipality had allocated 36 million leva (18.4 million euro) for street repairs this year. At this stage, six companies are working on those, while 780 000 leva (about 399 000 euro) in sanctions have been imposed on them so far.

“I am uncompromising, when it comes to spending public money,”  Fandukova said. “When the work is poor, we do not only sanction contractors, but also cancel contracts. I want to warn all other companies that we will monitor their work very carefully.”

Sofia Municipality now needs to find new companies, which will take over, meaning a public procurement will be required.

At this stage, quite a number of streets in Sofia are being repaired. This includes important traffic arteries, such as Dondukov Boulevard in the city centre, and streets which had been hardly passable, due to neglect for decades, such as Praga Boulevard or Montevideo Street.

More big construction projects are supposedly coming up soon. For instance, the mayor wants to refurbish the book market in the very centre of Sofia, along with Graf Ignatiev Street. The construction of the third Metro line is ongoing as well.

Regarding the quality of the construction on the streets of Sofia, the municipality is being criticised all the time. An NGO called Spasi Sofia is Fandukova’s harshest critic, in this regard. The organisation keeps on taking photos of bad repairs, in order to spread them on a famous social media site with a white and blue logo. Also, Spasi Sofia keeps on reminding Sofia Municipality of its promises.

Today the NGO said, ten bus lanes that were supposed to be ready in 2016, along with boundaries for tram tracks, had not been installed so far.

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com