The completion of the Prague Ring Road: Challenges and Lawsuits Surrounding the Completion

The completion of the Prague Ring Road, known as Pražský okruh, is expected to face numerous challenges and lawsuits. Despite regular meetings between the Ministry of Transport, the Road and Motorway Directorate (ŘSD), the Prague city districts, and the municipalities of Central Bohemia, appeals and legal actions will likely accompany the project. Only half of the 83-kilometer ring road is operational, with four sections yet to be built. The completion of the project is estimated to cost billions of Czech koruna.

The construction of Pražský okruh is divided into 11 sections, with seven already in operation. The southeast section between Běchovice and the D1 highway is still missing, which is closest to the start of construction. Additionally, three sections in the northern part of the Prague Ring Road between Ruzyně, Suchdol, Březiněves, and Satalice are yet to be completed. The last expansion of the ring road took place in 2010 when three sections in the southern part were opened. The first section was inaugurated 40 years ago on September 20, 1983.

According to Martin Opatrný, the spokesperson for the completion of Pražský okruh, ŘSD aims to begin construction of the section between Běchovice and the D1 highway by the end of next year. However, it will depend on the resolution of appeals against the construction permit, which is expected to be submitted, and the progress of the tender process. Opatrný stated that ŘSD plans to announce the tender for the contractor by the end of this year.

Representatives of ŘSD stated at a July meeting with journalists that 85% of the land needed for this section had been acquired. ŘSD plans to put the first parts into operation by 2027. The area between Běchovice and the D1 highway is expected to measure 12.6 kilometers and cost between 15 to 20 billion Czech koruna.

Regarding the three northern sections of Pražský okruh, ŘSD mentions in the background materials that they are planned to be put into operation by 2030. However, Opatrný emphasized that it will depend on the number of appeals and lawsuits and the speed of their resolution.

Two sections connecting Ruzyně, Suchdol, and Březiněves are assessing their environmental impact. In August, ŘSD director Radek Mátl mentioned this on the social network X. Opatrný added that the request for an environmental impact assessment for the last section between Březiněves and Satalice will be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment in the second half of September.

According to Opatrný, the cost of building all the missing sections is estimated to be in the tens of billions of Czech koruna. The contractor selection process will determine the final price. The area between Březiněves and Satalice, the chosen variant, will strongly influence the cost.

Currently, ŘSD is working with two construction variants for this section. The first variant, an embankment design, is estimated to cost around 17 billion Czech koruna, while the second variant, involving tunnels, would cost over 38 billion Czech koruna. The Ministry of Transport recently announced its intention to prepare feasibility studies for public-private partnership projects for the northern part of Pražský okruh.

Opatrný emphasized that regular meetings between the Ministry of Transport, ŘSD, the Prague City Council, the city districts of Prague, and the municipalities of Central Bohemia occur several times a year.

“We strive to find the best solutions for the planned constructions within the framework of mutual compromises to minimize complications during the subsequent permitting process. However, it is almost certain that the preparation of individual constructions will be accompanied by appeals and lawsuits, as there are city districts and municipalities in Central Bohemia that oppose the construction of Pražský okruh under any circumstances,” said Opatrný.