Prague Court Again Blocks Final Approval of Road Tunnel
Prague, July 12 (CTK) – The Prague Metropolitan Court again rejected the final approval for the Blanka road tunnel complex, as Prague authorities have not yet completed all the required noise barriers near V Holesovickach, according to reports yesterday from Hospodarske noviny (HN).
Prague City Hall permitted a further change in the tunnel construction before its completion, and a part of the required noise measures were omitted with this change. The City Hall argued that the already completed measures to reduce traffic noise were sufficient according to new noise studies, said the HN report.
However, the court decided in late June that the change in the construction before its completion was against the law.
The court supported local campaigners who have been protesting against the heavy traffic brought to their neighbourhood through the tunnel, up to tens of thousands of cars more every day.
Although none of the three stages of noise measures were carried out, Prague launched the test operation of the Blanka tunnel in 2015. After construction officials additionally deleted one of the conditions, the tunnel received its final approval in 2019. However, the court later rescinded this approval, requiring the completion of some of the noise measures. The city again gave final approval to the tunnel in September 2022, amending the original conditions. The local people were not informed about this, according to HN.
The work on the 5.5-kilometre tunnel began in 2007. The construction lasted several years longer than planned, and the original expected costs gradually doubled, reaching CZK 43 billion.