Repair of the Žďákovský bridge begins – press release

June 8, 2015

The scheduled repair of the Žďákovský bridge on route I/19 started on Monday, 8 June 2015.

The Žďákovský bridge, named after a village flooded during filling of the Orlík Reservoir, connects the banks of the Vltava River near Orlík nad Vltavou. It was built in 1967 with a span between the arch abutments 379.60 meters, the total length of 542.91 m and the roadway 50 m above the surface. At the time of its construction, it was the largest single-arch bridge in the world. The weight of the arch is 3,100 tonnes, the weight of all steel is 4,116 tonnes.

However, the technical monument and a significant transport structure, which is one of the most elegant in the Czech Republic, is in critical condition after almost fifty years of its existence. The bridge, which is part of the busy route from Milevsko to Březnice, was damaged mostly by truck traffic. It was closed for the first time in 1998 due to cracks and in 2010 vehicles above 13 tonnes were banned.

The Road and Motorway Directorate announced a tender for the reconstruction of the Žďákovský bridge in 2009, but it was subsequently cancelled. Eleven bidders took part in the second tender, which was opened in 2011. The selection committee appointed by the government in early October 2012 decided to eliminate one of the companies because it failed to submit complete documentation.

One month later, a consortium consisting of Imos Brno, SDS Exmost and the German Hentschke Bau challenged the tender procedure, declaring the winning offer of COLAS CZ exceptionally low, and appealed to the Office for Protection of Competition. When the antimonopoly office rejected the declaration in December 2012, the consortium turned to court. In July 2013, the Brno Regional Court issued a provisional measure which prevented the signing of the contract until the situation was solved.

The legal dispute did not end until February 2015, when the Supreme Administrative Court finally rejected the complaint of the consortium. A contract with the winning company – COLAS CZ – was signed in May, more than three years after opening the tender. According to the media, the repair of the Žďákovský bridge became a prime example of how losing companies can block public tenders for a long time.

The Žďákovský bridge will be completely closed for car and pedestrian traffic until December 2015, and the work will continue for 28 months until 2017. The project involves the complete repair of the bridge decking, including the replacement of dilatation joints, complete restoration of paint on the steel structures and the unavoidable rehabilitation of the concrete structures. The costs will be paid by the National Fund for Transport Infrastructure (SFDI). Compared to the price assumed in the tender, which amounted to almost CZK 322 million, excl. VAT, the total price of the repair will be CZK 159 million. 

Data on the construction:
Contractor: COLAS CZ, a.s.
Price for the repair: CZK 158,918,540, excl. VAT
Total duration of the repairs: 28 months

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