Road and Motorway Directorate preparing measures for building bridges – to greater efficiency and savings
The Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic (RSD) continues the process of savings on the road transport infrastructure projects. A new feature is a series of measures for more effective bridge constructions. This is a completely new approach, aimed at installing new rules of preparation and construction.The proposals newly include eg. separate tenders for the bridges only, or a sample catalogue.
Bridges are among the most costly parts of transport infrastructure. „This is true not only regarding the preparatory work, but also the construction and most significantly, the maintenance,“ says the RSD Construction Director René Poruba. According to the Road and Motorway Directorate's information, the bridges compose up to 40 percent of all costs for motorways and roads construction in the Czech Republic. The bridges are thus automatically a priority when searching a sector to apply some greater austerity measures.
So far, the preparation and construction of bridges has been carried out with low efficiency. For instance, tenders for bridges have been mostly proposed as tenders for the whole communication, that is, including the connecting roads, or motorways. Also, an architectural design was preferred, which has made the construction more expensive. There has also been a non-existent cohesion in the bridges construction and a zero control of their condition, repairs and maintenance. „ As a result of that, the bridges today are obsolete and many of them are in unsatisfactory condition,“ says René Poruba.
After other parts of transport infrastructure (tunnels, ecoducts and other), the Road and Motorway Directorate wants to focus on the bridges in greater detail. The Directorate wants to apply the new approach in the bridge project preparation process, in tenders and in simpler technical regulations. „ We want more specialised construction companies to take part in the tenders, the costs should comprise not only the construction, but also the operation and maintenance and simultaneously, we want independent experts to write opponency on the whole proposed solution,“ explains René Poruba.
The innovations introduced by the Road and Motorway Directorate include, for example, tenders for realisation of bridges alone, before the connecting communication. A possibility for participation of a greater number of specialised bridge construction companies will thus open up. „ So far, these specialised firms have been discriminated. Due to their specialisation, they lack experience in the field of road construction. That is why they could not have taken part in the competition under the current practice,“ clarifies René Poruba. Another one of the series of measures is the introduction of technical norms in the preparation and construction of bridges, or a financial control on maintenance. Newly, the economic criteria is to dominate over architecture.
Bridges will also be divided into two groups – small and medium span bridges and large span bridges. The large span bridges will have separate tenders and tender documentation will only describe basic parametres. „We will thus open the market for new suppliers. We expect more pressure on efficiency and savings in comparison to the current situation“ says René Poruba.
So-called cataloguing of recommended constructions will be a novelty regarding the small and medium span bridges. „The Road and Motorway Directorate will carry out the basic selection of appropriate structure, which will serve as a clue for the contestants. The choice of the contractor will have relatively clear rules. Even a change in price during the construction will not surprise us,“ adds René Poruba.
The Road and Motorway Directorate plans to introduce these new aspects into the process of preparation and construction very soon. With regard to a lower budget for the whole transport infrastructure, it is extremely important that these changes and their introduction in the process is done as soon as possible.