Pozadí astronaut Brázda
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Prague ring road: Blame the bears

When the cabinet announced last week that it would earmark billions of crowns to build bypasses around 90 Czech towns, many locals must have sighed with relief.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt

When the cabinet announced last week that it would earmark billions of crowns to build bypasses around 90 Czech towns, many locals must have sighed with relief. Now we only need to make sure it will not cost more than necessary and that the projects will not cause more damage than benefit.

The example of the ongoing Prague ring-road construction shows that circumspection is needed. The project's cost expectations have doubled (to CZK 80 billion) and the concrete layers have obliterated a creek south of the capital. How is it possible?

So they don't go on

A big hole yawns from the Čihadlo hill south of Prague, surrounded by a swarm of machinery excavating two parallel tunnels that will resurface in the Vltava river valley. The so-called Komořany tunnel will be a part of the 81-km-long Prague ring road, scheduled for completion in 2012. Thanks to the tunnel, it will not be necessary to chop off the Čihadlo hill nor to cut the woods growing on it.

Still, there is something wrong. „I haven't seen such a botch for a long time,“ says environmental inspector Karel Kerouš. Because of the tunnelling technology selected by the investor, the Road and Motorway Directorate (ŘSD), a nearby forest, one of the largest around Prague, is withering, and endangered are also hundreds of trees right on Čihadlo. The inappropriate technology has made a local…

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