Babiš promises D3's Austrian connection by 2024
Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš continues to visit long-delayed infrastructure sites, making promises about their completion. Following a pledge to speed work on the outer loop of Prague's ring road, the government boss was in the village of Netřebice, south of České Budějovice, in order to tell the nation that the D3 motorway would connect Mezna with the Austrian border by 2024. Those travelling from Prague, he said, would be able to to do so without interruption by 2028. At the same time, he said he'd push leaders in Austria to make progress on an extension of the S10 from Rainbach to the Czech border. At the moment, the Austrians aren't even preparing to build this final link and according to sources from the Czech Highway Authority, there's little to indicate they will finish work by the time the Czech portion of the motorway is completed. Babiš promised to discuss the D3 with the winner of the next elections in Austria, suggesting that the Czech prime minister expects his own political future to extend beyond this fall.
Whether he should be so confident about his promises of the completion of the D3 is unclear. The Czech transportation minister wrote the Italian ambassador in Prague in regards to a delay in work on the České Budějovice bypass, where the Italian contractor Salini Impregilo, which is working Doprastav on the 13 km stretch of road, is now three weeks late in handing over crucial project documentation. The Italian company recently left a similar contract in Slovakia and was fired from two jobs in Poland.