Half a Century and Counting: The D35 Highway Saga

The construction of the D35 highway in the Czech Republic, a project spanning half a century, is set to extend its timeline even further. If the deadlines are met, the highway, which stretches between Hradec Králové and Olomouc, will only be completed by 2030. This means that its construction period will have exceeded 50 years.

The D35 highway, with a total length of 210 kilometers, has been under construction since the 1970s. The Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) has noted that delays in the realization of the highway have significantly increased its cost. However, the Ministry insists on efforts to expedite the construction.

The NKÚ, while focusing on the preparation of 14 sections and the period from 2017 to 2023, also looked at highway construction from a broader perspective. This revealed the inability of institutions to realize the construction.

It has been 22 years since the government decreed that the construction of all sections of the D35 highway should start no later than 2010. Yet, the construction of 11 out of 21 sections of the highway is to begin. As of May this year, only 90 kilometers of the highway have been completed, while 108 kilometers are still in the preparatory phase. The first section was commissioned in 1978.

Construction delays have adverse effects, including increased accident rates, negative impacts on the environment, and an escalation in the cost of construction. According to the Ministry of Transport, the highway could be completed by 2029.

Once completed, the D35 highway, planned to run through Jičín, Hradec Králové, Olomouc, and Lipník nad Bečvou, will be the second-longest highway in the Czech Republic with a total length of 210 kilometers. The construction of one of the missing sections began last week.