Builders rush to finish Rīga roadworks

August 31 marks the day when roadworks on several of Rīga's main streets should be finished. Due to procurement delays, street repairs in Rīga have been held off, proving to be an annoyance to everyone involved--locals, visitors, construction companies, and Rīga officials alike.

Workers are laying paving slabs across Rīga, as the sidewalks of both Barona and Brīvības st. are being paved in full length, reported Latvian Radio Wednesday.

Work has been divided into hourly shifts as there's very little time due to the construction works being greenlighted only in late July, representatives of the construction companies claimed.

"It's practically a heroic task to find people for such a massive amount of work within a month," said Dzintars Pomers, technical director at the ACB construction company.

"They should have given us another month. We are doing everything as fast as we can. But we're only human, we're not robots," said Raimonds Suharskis, construction manager at the Ceļu Pārvalde company.

Construction companies say that the roadworks will be undergone by September 1, with the exception of sections of Lāčplēša st. 

The municipality has been criticized about pedestrians and cyclists having to move dangerously close to moving cars during repairs.

"Yes, the organization of the work, first of all regarding pedestrians and secondly - cyclists - leaves much to be desired. This experience will have to be taken into account on no uncertain terms next year," said Rīga Mayor Nils Ušakovs. 

Next summer roadworks are expected to continue on a scale at least as big as this year.

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

Recently Vitālijs Reinbahs, head of the Traffic Department at the Rīga City Council, was suspended in connection with the roadworks. In September the Council is expected to vote over relieving him from his duties.

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.

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