D4 Motorway Construction Paves the Way for PPP in the Czech Republic
The completion of the motorway network is one of the priorities of the Czech government. Until now, all sections of motorways have been built exclusively by the state. However, the completion of the 32 kilometers of the D4 motorway is the first time that a partnership between the state and the private sector has been used in the Czech Republic. After the preparatory work, the Via Salis consortium is starting construction in full swing.
Contract for construction and operation
The D4 PPP project is being implemented by the Via Salis consortium of French companies VINCI Concessions, VINCI Highways and Meridiam. The investment includes the design, financing, construction and maintenance of 32 km of the D4 motorway from Příbram to Písek and the modernization of another 16 kilometers of already operational sections. According to the contract with the state, construction will be completed in December 2024 and the consortium will operate the motorway for the next 25 years.
The state will start paying for the motorway after it is operational and in 2049 the infrastructure will be handed back to the state. Unlike the traditional public procurement model, the state is not only buying the construction, but also the service in the form of operation and quality maintenance. Hence the state is transferring risks to the private sector who in turn will be accountable to provide quality and safety of the motorway over almost 30 years. As the examples from abroad, where VINCI Highways and Meridiam operate, show, and where PPP is now a common model not only in road construction; thanks to a clear set of responsibilities, the concessionaire builds on schedule, with quality and also takes care of maintenance in its own interest.
The first ever construction to be built in the Czech Republic based on the PPP model will also play an important role as a reference project for the next considered construction of the motorway network in
the form of a partnership between the private and public sector.
The sustainable and high-tech D4 motorway
The D4 project is unique not only in the form of financing, but also in its strong emphasis on the environmental aspects of construction and the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies.
Several ecoducts will be built on the new D4 for the safe movement of wildlife. Together with culverts under the motorway, there will be twenty such crossings and underpasses for wildlife when the entire motorway section is operational in 2024. Amphibians in particular are protected by 16 kilometers of special barriers during construction. The ban on the use of herbicides during operation will also contribute to biodiversity conservation. Most of the milled asphalt will also find a new use.
The new sections of the D4 will get also high-tech features. The entire construction process will be monitored by BIM technology, i.e. digital modeling based on regular drone imagery. The new motorway will be 100% covered by CCTV, which is a significant benefit not only for traffic management but also for the integrated rescue system. The weather conditions will be monitored by ten meteorological stations, while traffic density and flow will be monitored by special sensors. The project envisages that 28 variable traffic signs and information boards will be hung on the motorway structures.
Experienced international team
This historically first Czech transport project realized with the PPP method is led by an experienced international team. CEO of Via Salis and VINCI Highways’ Executive Director of Central Europe is Christian Biegert. According to him, the great advantage of the Via Salis project is the vast know-how put into it by all the partners, i.e. VINCI Concessions, VINCI Highways and Meridiam.
Project Via Salis is appreciated by foreign experts
The Czech completion of the D4 motorway has already attracted the attention of foreign experts, who appreciated that the project was well prepared by Via Salis and the Ministry of Transport. D4 was awarded the prestigious PFI (Project Finance International) Awards 2021 for the best European PPP project. In turn, Via Salis was awarded European Transport Deal of the Year at the IJGlobal Awards 2021, where the best infrastructure investment projects are judged, by the international consulting and analysis company IJGlobal.