TVNET Sports Today, 15:512 World Running Championship: the alarm about the repair of Slokas Street was already raised at the beginning of the year

By RockedBuzz 7 Min Read

The client of the construction works – the municipal company “Rīgas satiksme” – raised the alarm at the beginning of the year about the disturbing effect of the repair of Slokas Street on the running championship, according to the information at the disposal of the LETA agency.

Photo: Eddie Palen/LETA

The client of the construction works – the municipal company “Rīgas satiksme” – raised the alarm at the beginning of the year about the disturbing effect of the repair of Slokas Street on the running championship, according to the information at the disposal of the LETA agency.

The executive director of the city, Jānis Lange, had convened a meeting on February 17, referring to the February 10 “Rīgas satiksme” letter, which states that the track of the running championship cannot be built on the relevant section of Slokas Street. However, the organizers of the championship could no longer reschedule another route.

As explained by Aigars Nords, the head of the organizing team of the world championship, in 2021, when the “Rimi” Riga Marathon team participated in the competition for the right to organize the world championship, it was done together with the representatives of the Riga municipality.

At the time of the competition, the world championship course was agreed and the organizers had to guarantee that it would be provided and tried. This was also done in the 2022 and 2023 Riga marathons.

When it became known that the reconstruction of the tram tracks will take place on Slokas Street, meetings were held with the executive director and “Rīgas satiksmi”, agreeing that the repairs will not interfere with the World Championship, which will be diverted to one side of Slokas Street.

A promise was received from the municipality that the specific section of the street will be asphalted, and the promise was fulfilled.

The development of the route takes about a year, because the locations of both the security services and the medics must be planned, and the live broadcasts must be taken into account, as the performer plans the locations and angles of the cameras. Also, track certification takes time.

There is no question of changing the track at the last minute, added Nords.

Perhaps this was also the reason for the decision to lay temporary asphalt. However, this will be clarified after receiving clarifications from the CEO. As well as the amount used for asphalt laying, which according to the information available to the LETA agency, is approximately 12,000 euros.

According to the information published on the website of “Rīgas satiksme”, the project of rebuilding the tram tracks on Slokas Street has been planned for several years. You could apply for its implementation until December 2021. On the other hand, the contract for the execution of the project for JSC “ACB” for 6.7 million euros was concluded on February 28, 2022.

In 2022, the Riga City Council decided to allocate 300,000 euros for the running of the world championship in the capital on September 30 and October 1, 2023.

In order to ensure the payment of the security deposit for the International Association of Athletics Federations event, co-financing from the municipality in the amount of 300,000 euros was necessary.

As reported, the world running championship was held in Riga this weekend. The running route touched the repair work area of ​​Slokas Street. Therefore, residents expressed their concern on social networks, whether Riga is ready to receive runners.

The Riga City Council promised the organizers of the championship that asphalt would be laid by the start of the race, and it was done. However, it turned out to be temporary asphalt that will be broken up to complete the repair of Sloka Street.

“There is a spoonful of tar in the practical side of holding the championship – namely, who made the decision, when and why, that temporary asphalt will be laid on Slokas Street for the duration of the championship,” writes Riga Mayor Vilnis Ķirsis (JV) on Twitter.

He instructed the Riga executive director to provide an explanation about when it became known that such a temporary solution would be necessary and when a decision was made about it, how much it cost and who pays for it. It will also be explained whether the usefulness of such an action has been assessed and alternative options for ensuring the conduct of the championship have been assessed.

This announcement has already been sharply perceived by the former allies of Mayor Ķirš in the Riga City Council, the “Progressives” faction currently in the opposition. As Mārtiņš Kossovičs, the leader of the “Progressive” faction, writes on Twitter: “I am fully convinced that Vilnis ķirsis has verbally agreed on the temporary repairs on Slokas Street. And once again V. ķirsis is once again looking for the culprit instead of taking responsibility”.

Solutions to the situation were sought already when the leading faction of the Riga City Council coalition was “Progressives” and their representative Mārtiņš Staķis was the mayor of Riga.

ķirsis also confirmed to the LETA agency that he did not participate in any meeting where the issue of the track of the running championship, its asphalting or other solutions was considered. Kirsis was laconic in his comments, stating that he will be able to comment on what happened when he receives explanations from the responsible officials.

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