Riga mayor lays down the law on roadworks shambles

The chaotic roadworks that have blighted commuters' lives throughout the summer in central Riga and still drag on have seen Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs issue an ultimatum to contractors. 

Writing on social media September 19, Ušakovs said a regime of "simple arithmetic" would apply to contractors who did not finish work on time, citing an example of continuing works on Brīvības and Lāčplēša streets, which should have finished September 17.

"Now for every day it is delayed, the ACB company will pay a penalty of 7,400 euros. These last two days have already cost it some 14,800 euros. For a week it would be 51,800 euros."

And so on.

Ušakovs has come under pressure to do something about the works, which many judge to be poorly organized and in some cases of low quality. Emils Jakrins, head of Riga's transport department, has singularly failed to get to grips with the problem and has enraged many Riga residents with his high-handed attitude and palpably false reassurances that everything is under control.

His position has looked increasingly untenable and will look even more so if the ongoing shambles continues to reflect badly on the mayor himself.



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