Builder finally appointed for planned third central Pärnu bridge
Work can go ahead on a third bridge linking the central Pärnu to the rest of the southwest Estonian city, the at a cost of €27 million and following a lengthy procurement process. The city's mayor, Romek Kosenkranius, says that the new bridge will be of a "beautiful, arch-type" design, while the very fact it is going ahead represents something of a victory for him given the amount of opposition he had faced while championing the project last year.
Mayor of Pärnu Romek Kosenkranius (Pärnu Ühendab electoral alliance) told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that: "In the case of this bridge, it is important to mention that it has a long history.
"Seven years ago we chose the location, four years ago a detailed plan was established, and two construction procurements failed, due to their high prices," he went on.
"However in cooperation with the present day coalition [in Pärnu] the Reform Party, Isamaa and Pärnu Ühendab, a solution to that problem of funding has been found, and decisions have been made which will help us move forward with the construction of the bridge," Kosenkranius went on.
The new, proposed bridge will be the third to be built across the Pärnu River, along with the City Center Bridge and the Papiniidu Bridge (see map).
All three river-spans are within a kilometer of one another.
The procurement process began last May and involved five shortlisted construction consortia, with the winner declared a joint offer from Infra and EG Ehitus.
Under the agreement's terms, the bridge constriction costs €26.7 million, with a 15 percent add-in permissible should the cost of building materials rise further. This would make the maximum price tag €30.7 million.
The construction contract will likely be signed after a two-week review period has ended, while the bridge would ideally need to be completed with in 22 months – the deadline until the next local elections.
This is because the ruling Pärnu coalition is unlikely to relish its successor getting the credit at the ribbon-cutting ceremony when the bridge is finished, AK reported.
The bridge's appearance also has not been made public yet -a gain it has to wait for the two-week consultation period to pass.
Kosenkranius simply says that it will be a "beautiful bridge", one which is of the "arch bridge type".
Mayor Kosenkranius had previously faced criticism over his management of the city, which has had to appeal to the state for an extra €25 million in order to get the new bridge built. This was a major factor in a political crisis in the city of 40,000 inhabitants, last fall.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera