EU funds watchdog greenlights Skanste tram line

The Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFLA) has greenlighted the plan by the Riga public transport company Rigas Satiksme to build a tram line to the Skanste business neighborhood.

The agency has completed a review of the Skanstes tram line project and concluded that the project meets all the requirements applicable and is in line with the European Union funding requirements on the development of transport infrastructure.

According to the CFLA, evaluation of the quality of the project may now commence, which will be carried out by independent experts from the European Commission, and the European Commission will take the final decision in three months or later.

After evaluation of the earlier version of the project, the CFLA pointed to several shortcomings and asked for additional risk analysis concerning project implementation schedule, as well as the State Cultural Monument Protection Inspection's opinion about the project.

As reported, the proposed tram line was the source of much contention as it had become known it will run through the Great Cemetery. 

The new version of the project meets all the CFLA requirements, as well as lists the Cultural Monument Protection Inspection's conditions, which stipulate that the project may not affect the Great Cemetery.

The c. €100m project of the new 3.65 km-long line also includes a reconstruction of three kilometers of existing line plus the purchase of twelve low-floor trams.

The CFLA is a state agency subordinated to the Finance Ministry. It oversees the implementation of projects co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and others. 

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