Rīga mayor has questions about temporary tarmac

Riga Mayor Vilnis Ķirsis (New Unity) asks for clarification of the conditions regarding the laying of temporary asphalt on Slokas Street to accommodate the World Road Running Championship over the weekend. There is no answer to the question of how much it has cost and who will cover it, Latvian Radio reported on October 2.

Shortly before the World Road Running Championship took place, several social network users also asked whether the run could actually take place on the advertised route at the scheduled Slokas Street section, where extensive repairs are still ongoing. A layer of asphalt was laid there shortly before the event, but it proved to be a temporary solution that will be removed to continue the street's construction work. The Mayor of Rīga Vilnis Ķirsis appears to be out of the loop with regard to who ordered the temporary works to be carried out, when, how and how much it all cost.

“Given that it was no secret for anyone in Riga City Council, or at least should not have been a secret, that these repairs were planned for a longer period of time, it is a question whether it [the run] was missed or someone deliberately went to such a solution. There may be some arguments and solutions, but that is what I hope to receive in this explanation,“ said Ķirsis.

The Mayor of Riga asked for an explanation how much it has cost and who will cover it. These questions have been asked to Riga executive director Jānis Lange – who is currently on vacation.

Meanwhile, former Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis has criticized Ķirsis on social networks, questioning how it could be that he was in the dark on the matter. Before becoming mayor, Vilnis Ķirsis was a long-standing head of the council's Transport department.

"You have been responsible for all asphalt works in the city for all these years. Like mother hen you protected the department, builders, and jealously looked at everyone coming with initiative. How can you blame someone else in this matter? I have no doubt it was all harmonized wth you," Staķis said on X.

Construction works are taking place on the route section of Tram 5 from the junction of Slokas Street and Jūrmalas Gatve to Iļģuciems. The contracting authority for the construction work of this project is the municipal company Rīgas Satiksme. The construction project financed from European Union funds is in accordance with the entered into contract and it is planned to complete the construction work by the end of the year.

However, the temporary tarmac pavement at Slokas Street stage shortly before the Championship in early October leads to the conclusion that this is an exceptional solution for making the entire scheduled route available to runners. 

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