The Prague Ring Road has been under construction since the 1980s, but half remains unfinished. The last new sections in the south were opened thirteen years ago. The completion of the northern part was delayed due to slow preparation and legal disputes. Martin Kupka, Minister of Transport (ODS), has announced that the preparations have progressed, and the construction of the next part of the ring road between the D1 and Běchovice should begin next year.
“After the first new section, we will all be able to drive on it by the end of 2027,” Kupka said.
According to him, the name of the Prague Ring Road may give the impression that it only concerns Prague. “This is a big mistake. It is not just a highway for Prague and Central Bohemia, as it might seem. It is a key communication for the whole country, for all citizens. It is a debt that we must repay urgently,” added Kupka.
“We want to fully launch the construction of its section between the D1 and Běchovice next year. We have all the prerequisites for this,” added the minister.
70% of all so-called compensatory measures have already been completed in connection with the study on the impact of construction on the environment. They should be finished this year, a year earlier than initially planned. This could include noise barriers, among other measures.
The new section is expected to measure 12.6 kilometers. It is currently the most critical missing part of the domestic highway network due to traffic load. Cars in this section must drive through the Prague part of Spořilov and Jižní spojka. The Ministry published a document in 2019 stating that the non-existence of the ring road section causes social losses of almost four million crowns per day.
“The construction of the Běchovice-D1 section is expected to begin in 2024. The three sections in the north are expected to be completed between 2027 and 2028,” said Jan Studecký, spokesperson for the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic.
Two lawsuits were filed against last year’s zoning decision for section 511. The Horní Počernice City Hall withdrew its case after a change of leadership. The association Za lepší Dolní Chabry filed the second lawsuit, although it is located twelve kilometers from the construction site.
“The lawsuit was dismissed in May by the Regional Court in Ostrava. It is possible to file a cassation complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court against this verdict,” Studecký clarified.
The Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic continues preparations, such as selecting companies for tree clearance. The acquisition of land is almost complete.
“Today, when the second wave of communication is running towards the owners of these lands, we have already purchased 80% of them. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that the calls for land acquisitions now also contain information that the next step may be expropriation of lands, which is authorized by legislation,” Kupka pointed out.
However, expropriation is only the last resort if all possibilities for an agreement are exhausted. Theprevioust three sections of the Prague Ring Road on the south D1-Vestec-Lahovice-Slivenec have been put into operation. They opened in September 2010.
After completion, the entire Prague Ring Road is planned to measure 83 kilometers. Currently, about half of it is in operation. In addition to section 511, the whole of northern part is missing from Ruzyně via Suchdol, Březiněves to Černý Most.