Third phase of the refurbishment project of metro line M3 affecting the city centre was supposed to start on 7 November 2020. The full section between Nagyvárad tér and Lehel tér stations has been closed for almost two weeks, but the work has not actually started yet.
The last section of metro line 3 is going to be the hardest, as it is the oldest and deepest led out of the three. BKV already warned the contractor that if they do not start working, their contract will be terminated.
The entire area of renovation has been closed since the beginning of November. However, the actual works probably will not start in months due to the conflict between BKV and the contractor, Swietelsky Vasúttechnika Ltd. The two parties are basically one step away from breaking the contract, Népszava reports.
In March 2020, Swietelsky Vasúttechnika Ltd. claimed an additional 18 billion HUF for the project due to the “extra work” they need to do. BKV was able to offer an additional EUR 22 million/HUF 8 billion for the project, but no more. The contractor did not accept their offer.
Extra costs came up, for example getting rid of the asbestos at the stations of the Southern section of metro line 3. BKV bargained but was unable to offer any more than HUF 8 billion to the contractor.
The original budget for the project was EUR 334 million/HUF 120 billion. Still, it is already at EUR 606 million/HUF 217.5 billion (EUR 478 million/HUF 172 billion from EU funds, and the rest from the government).
Swietelsky Vasúttechnika Ltd.’s contract has been suspended at the end of July. BKV established a deadline (9 November) for coming to an agreement. The date came, and the two parties were unable to do so.
If the contractor does not start working soon, BKV needs to post a new public procurement. Three in fact, as different tenders would be posted for track construction, the replacement of safety equipment and for the construction of the low voltage network.
If they need to go with a new contractor, contracts could be drawn up in 6 months and signed in May 2021. Construction could start in the summer of 2021, and ideally, it would be finished by the end of 2022.
Metro line 3 operates on both workdays and weekends on the following two sections: between Kőbánya-Kispest and Nagyvárad tér stations as well as between Újpest-központ and Lehel tér stations. Replacement buses are operating on the skipped section by fully using available capacities, running in dedicated bus lanes on most sections, with a peak-time frequency of 45 seconds.