More than half of road sections inspected in Bulgaria so far deviate from quality standards

Deviations from quality standards were found in more than half of road sections in Bulgaria inspected in September, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Andrei Tsekov said on October 23.

Road Infrastructure Agency staff inspected 165km of new and majorly repaired roads, Tsekov told a news conference, according to a statement by his ministry.

A total of 312 drilling samples were taken from 12 sites under warranty, and at seven sites discrepancies between the thickness of the asphalt layers and the design specifications were found.

The Road Infrastructure Agency has already sent letters to the companies performing the repair and supervision to eliminate the shortcomings within the warranty periods.

At this point, steps have already been taken to eliminate the defects in a section of close to nine km along the Byala Slatina – Pleven road.

“Our goal is to carry out regular inspections of the quality of already accepted and implemented projects for major repair or construction of new road infrastructure within the warranty periods, so that the state can exercise its rights regarding complaints and admitted deficiencies within the warranty”, Tsekov said.

He said that the checks are ongoing.

Tsekov said that in some places the shortcomings found were on certain small sections of the roadway, and in others, there were systemic irregularities along the entire road section, with deviations from the design and regulatory requirements having been found.

“The conclusions are that there are clearly gaps in the implementation of the current control during the execution of the repairs, which lead to deviations from the required quality,” Tsekov said.

“This is a serious signal regarding the functioning of the control systems by the contractors, the supervision and the state, for which it is necessary to increase the quality during the implementation”, he said.

He gave the example that on the Struma highway, deficiencies were found in 12 different sections.

On the bypass road of the town of Aheloy, in a section of about five km, out of the 32 drilling cores taken, 22 did not meet the design and regulatory requirements.

Shortcomings were found on the ring road of Dobrich, on road III-1304 Byala Slatina – Pleven, among others.

Tsekov said that the inspection schedule is based on one objective circumstance – when the warranty expires.

For this reason, the first inspections were concentrated in areas where it is about to expire.

“Weather conditions cannot affect the thickness of the asphalt. Where three or four cm of the asphalt is missing, it cannot have evaporated because of the warm weather,” he said.

(Archive photo: Road Infrastructure Agency)

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