The COVID 19 pandemic and change of technical solution of the upper lock gate armature delayed meeting a milestone
Construction works on modernization of the Gabčíkovo Waterwork’s navigation locks are delayed for almost two months due to COVID-19 pandemic situation. A complete renovation is necessary for ensuring safeness, fluency and reliability of navigation on Slovak section of the Danube river. Works on right navigation lock that also included exchange of lower lock gate weighing more than 1000 tons are to be completed during May 2021 in accordance with the addendum to the work contract concluded between VODOHOSPODÁRSKA VÝSTAVBA, ŠTÁTNY PODNIK (VV, š. p.) and the general contractor of works, the Metrostav company. Completion of works on the left navigation lock is supposed to take place by mid July 2022.
As the general contractor of works, Metrostav, a.s., is a foreign company and most of the subcontractors are foreign as well, border restrictions and the taken anti-epidemic measures caused complications with transfer of the foreign workers and difficult situation in production and supply of components. Besides the pandemic situation, the works delay was also caused by unexpected circumstances detected during realization of works on upper lock head where it was not possible to continue in line with originally agreed work progress of preparation for the upper lock gate instalation. This unexpectable situation caused a need of complete change of technical solution of the upper lock gate armature, which was reflected in postponement of the works second milestone – completion of construction works on the right navigation lock – from December 2020 to May 2021. Total delay of works is one hundred and sixtyeight days. However, the posteponement of milestones does not affect deadline for the overall completion of the project, which was officially extended until the 31st of December 2022 by the funds provider, INEA.
General director of the VV, š. p., Vladimír Kollár, considers mitigation of negative impacts on the completion of modernization works and the completion of the project within the set deadline to be a priority: „It is a strategic project for Vodohospodárska výstavba as well as in terms of international waterway passing through the Gabčíkovo Waterwork and it is in our interest that the work are performed smoothly with the shortest possible time delay. In these times, we also highly appreciate the support from the European Commission , which accompanies us in enjoying every good news regarding the modernization of our navigation locks. Whether we are talking about the new, giant lower lock gate, which we successfully managed to fit into the bearing, or the successfull completion of works below the water level, which were finalized a month ahead of schedule, or also the mastering the technology of injektion of foundation soil of the navigation locks,“ said the general director, Vladimír Kollár.
After the completion of inovation and modernization works on the right navigation lock, a trial operation will be carried out by water managers. They will subsequently put the right lock into full operation and start works on inovation and modernization of the left navigation lock.