Rīga official sacked over roadwork trouble

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On Tuesday Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs sacked Vitālijs Reinbahs, the head of the Traffic Department at the Rīga City Council.

Ušakovs wrote on Twitter that the decision came after a meeting about ongoing road repairs in Rīga. The performance of other employees at the Traffic Department is to be reviewed as well. Emīls Jakrins has been named the acting head of the department.

"After a meeting about the roadworks on Rīga's streets, V. Reinbahs, the head of the Traffic Department at the Rīga City Council was suspended. The roadworks will not be delayed," wrote Ušakovs on Twitter.

"There are many questions over the repairs, including some related to the quality of the work at the department," Ušakovs said, claiming difficulties in cooperation with the construction companies over deadlines and quality of work.

Ušakovs said that significant delays aren't expected and that most of the roadworks on Rīga's main streets are to conclude by September 1.

Locals and opposition parties at the Rīga City Council have repeatedly voiced frustration over the slow speed of roadworks taking place on Rīga's main streets, particularly Kr. Barona street.

The City Council has pushed the deadline of the roadworks on Kr. Barona street beyond early September, despite promises to the contrary.

Furthermore, the municipality was criticized over delays in starting roadworks on two key streets - Brīvības and Lāčplēša.

The opposition had tried sacking Reinbahs repeatedly, including in early July this year.

The opposition pointed out that Latvia's anti-graft force has started an investigation over a procurement by the Traffic Department and detained Uģis Brožs, the head of the construction branch at the department.

Reinbahs has been suspected of taking bribes as well.

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