Poland’s largest construction firm, Budimex, has won a €465 million contract to build a new stretch of motorway in the Czech Republic.
The project will also involve connecting the Czech highway with one in Poland, helping to create a transport route linking Prague with Polish ports and the Baltic states.
Budimex announced on Wednesday that it had been selected by the Czech roads and highways directorate to build part of the D11 motorway between the town of Trutnov and the Polish-Czech border. The value of the tender is 11.35 billion koruna (2.03 billion zloty, €465 million).
Projekt podwójnie ważny!
Nie dość, ze przetarg za blisko 2 mld zł na budowę autostrady w Czechach wygrywa polski Budimex, to jeszcze…
… budować będzie drogę, która połączy się z polską S3. Duży krok dla budowy połączeń 🇵🇱🇨🇿, ale i polskich portów! https://t.co/hE1W0eqtwM
— Jakub Jakóbowski (@J_Jakobowski) November 22, 2023
Previously, the Czech transport minister, Martin Kupka, had announced that work on the 21 km section of road was due to begin on 19 December and should be completed by 2027, reports the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
Before that, within 18 months Budimex will have to hand over a 3 km section connecting the Polish border town of Lubawka with the existing national road in the Czech Republic.
Eventually, the D11 highway will run from the border to Prague. But the Czechs still also need to build a section of the road between Trutnov and the town of Jaromer.
In remarks to PAP, Kupka said that Poland’s successful expansion of its road network in recent years is an “inspiration” for the Czechs. He noted how it had “visibly contributed to and stimulated other types of economic activity, as well as improving quality of life for people in Poland”.
Adam Barszczyński, a director at Budimex, added that the firm’s “Polish experience allows us to feel confident…about our expansion into the Czech market”, which has been preceded by two years of preparatory work.
The Polish firm has ambitious plans in the Czech Republic. It has also submitted a bid for a tender to work on a section of the D35 motorway in a project worth around 3.5 billion koruna, as well as several rail projects.
There has been a boom in the number of Czech tourists coming to Poland for their summer holidays, data show.
Visitors from the landlocked Czech Republic are in particular heading to the beaches of Poland’s Baltic coast https://t.co/tbvSWxa0wv
— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) July 12, 2023
In October this year, Budimex began work on its first road construction project in Slovakia, where it is expanding the D1 motorway, reports news website Rynek Inkfrastruktury.
The Czech D11 highway, once complete, will link to Poland’s S3 expressway, eventually providing a connection from Prague to the Polish Baltic port cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście. That link is part of the even longer European E65 route, which stretches from Malmö in Sweden down to Chania in Greece.
Meanwhile, the D11 is also part of the E67 route connecting Prague with Helsinki via Wrocław and Warsaw in Poland, Kaunas and Panevėžys in Lithuania, Riga in Latvia and Tallinn in Estonia.
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Main image credit: Loozrboy/Flickr (under CC BY-SA 2.0)
Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign Policy, POLITICO Europe, EUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.