After the collapse of the ceiling in the pedestrian tunnel of the Riga Railway Station on December 2, the Construction State Control Office (BVKB) concluded that the conditions and the assessment of the use of tunnels during the works had not been sufficiently detailed. Therefore, the works above the tunnels are currently suspended.
“By December 13 BVKB is awaiting explanations from the participants in the construction process regarding the irregularities found at the site that have occurred in the construction area above the “A” and “B” tunnels,” explained BVKB spokeswoman Elīna Balgalve.
Together with the explanatory statement, a work project including an assessment of the admissibility of the use of the building during the works and the conditions for the use of the tunnel should also be submitted.
Construction of the “Rail Baltica” Riga central hub is carried out by the construction company “Bererix”, which brings together Belgian and Italian construction companies and the local builder “Rere Būve”. Bererix rejected claims that the site's feasibility study would have been incomplete. However, following the incident, following BVKB requirements, the site is being investigated in depth at the moment.
Research has revealed other hitherto unknown secrets of the station. Andis Linde, a spokesman for the management group of the construction company Bererix, said: “By exploring old blueprints, we understand that there is another similar place, another same chute. It is not in the area where we are currently working, but in the area where we will perform our jobs after 2024."
In order to ensure that the newly discovered shaft does not threaten the station's visitors or railway employees, the builder has already informed “Latvian Railways” about this find. Bererix is convinced that the presence of pedestrians in the remainder of the tunnel is safe because the shafts are above the technical spaces, not the public part of the station.
“We have full confidence that the tunnel area is safe and there should be no concern,” Linde said.
What has also happened has not delayed the construction schedule. The Bererix association doesn't disclose how much the initial technical research cost. While an in-depth study also means new costs for the company, Bererix promises that the State will therefore not have to pay more.