The contracts, which were awarded to the most economically advantageous bidders, come as Latvia’s transport minister announced that the Rail Baltica project is continuing to proceed despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ineco-Ardanuy has been awarded a €13.5m contract for the Vangaži - Latvian-Estonian border section, while Idom has been awarded an €6.9m contract for the Misa - Latvian-Lithuanian border section.

The 94km Vangaži - Latvian-Estonian border section is the longest design section in Latvia, with the design works due to take two-and-a-half-years. According to the preliminary design developed between 2014 and 2016, the section includes 13 bridges, 36 road viaducts, three railway viaducts, 119 culverts and three animal crossings.

The Misa - Latvian-Lithuanian border section is 45km long, with design works due to take two years. According to the preliminary design, the section includes four bridges, 16 road viaducts, four railway viaducts, 54 culverts and one animal crossing.

The two contractors will be responsible for site investigations, value engineering, development of the master design and detailed technical design for construction of the railway track, and author supervision during the entire construction period.

85% of the funding for the design work has been provided by the European Union, with the remaining 15% provided by the Latvian government.

Ineco has already been working with Ardanuy to create the Development of the Rail Baltica Energy Subsystem Procurement and Deployment Strategy.

Idom is currently involved in the detailed technical design of Rail Baltica mainline in two sections in Estonia, two in Lithuania as well as for the mainline section through Riga.

“I am pleased that the implementation of the Rail Baltica project is continuing during this difficult period,” says Latvia minister of transport, Mr Tālis Linkaits. “It is important to increase the design speed so that construction works can be started in Latvia as soon as possible. The active construction phase of Rail Baltica, which will begin at Riga Central Station this autumn, will be one of the factors contributing to Latvia’s economic development and will help to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

“The start of construction work in Latvia will create new jobs and make a significant contribution to the development of construction-related industries. I encourage all companies to actively follow the development of Rail Baltica and participate in future procurements, as the project is progressing regardless of the Covid-19 situation in Europe. The project implementers are working online, and the work is proceeding according to plan.”

“Today we are very pleased to present yet another evidence of progress in the Rail Baltica project implementation,” says RB Rail management board chairperson, Mr Agnis Driksna. “With the signing of the two contracts, design activities are ongoing for the entire Rail Baltica line in Latvia as well as in the two passenger terminals in Riga Central Station and the airport. This means that a total of 643km of the Rail Baltica main line are being designed in all three Baltic States.”

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