The Žilina-Martin highway, including the 8 km Višňové tunnel, will be ready at the earliest in 2021, while the planned deadline is 2019, expects the national highway firm NDS. The contractor, a consortium of local firm Dúha (Miroslav Remeta) and Salini Impregilo of Italy, is demanding the deadline be extended and the budget increased due to challenging geological conditions. NDS has rejected this and is threatening a €2m fine.
The Pravda daily, which has links to the Smer party, blames the problems on too low prices under the Iveta Radičová government in 2011. The consortium is building the highway for €409m, despite Skanska bidding €338m. For dubious reasons, NDS excluded Skanska from the tender. NDS had expected a €900m price tag.