Poland’s A2 road opened just in time

By Helen Wright11 June 2012

The last section Poland's troubled east-west A2 highway project opened to traffic just days before the 8 June start of the Euro 2012 football Championships, which are being jointly hosted by Poland and the Ukraine.

It was a race against time for Poland's roads authority, GDDiKA, and the contractors it appointed to finish the stretch of motorway between the country's capital, Warsaw, and the city of Lodz, in the wake of the project being abandoned last year by Chinese contractor China Overseas Engineering Group (COVEC).

The last 20km of the total 90km link between the two Polish cities opened to traffic on the evening of 6th June - two days before the opening ceremony and first match of the Euro 2012 tournament at Warsaw's new National Stadium.

However, reports suggest that while the main surface of the A2 road is complete, some access roads have not been finished and reduced speed restrictions are in place.

The A2 ran into difficulties earlier this year when an original contract with COVEC was cancelled, when COVEC apparently stopped payment to subcontractors.

This led to calls from the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and the European International Contractors (EIC) group for measures to level the playing field for contractors facing competition from state-owned enterprises. Contracts were later re-awarded to European contractors.

The debacle also led to GDDiKA filing a lawsuit against COVEC seeking a total of PLN845.6 million (€193 million) in compensation.

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