The 30th of June marked the expiration of the second set deadline for finishing the construction of the Kichevo-Ohrid highway on the Corridor VIII from East to West in North Macedonia. The additional annex to the agreement for extending the building of this highway is yet to be sent to the Parliament of the North Macedonia to be adopted by the MPs.

Last Monday, sent a list with questions to the Public Enterprise for State Roads about the new date that was agreed on with the Chinese company Sinohydro for finishing the construction works on the highway, including the date when we can expect the annex for extending the deadline to arrive at the Parliament.

During a phone call, the Public Enterprise for State Roads briefly responded that at the moment they have no information that can be shared with the general public. During a recent interview for the Macedonian Information Agency, Director Ejup Rustemi stated that the negotiations with the Chinese company Sinohydro are in their final phase, and it was agreed that the deadline for the completion of the construction works should be extended to 31st of December 2023.

Two months ago, even the Minister for Transportation and Communications Blagoj Bochvarski said that the new date when the Kichevo – Ohrid highway is expected to be put into use is either toward the end of 2023 or at the start of 2024.

In the meantime, on the 17th of June, the signed agreement between the Public Enterprise for State Roads and the Civil Engineering Institute Macedonia for supervision of the completion of the construction works for the building of the Kichevo-Ohrid highway was published on the Electronic System for Public Procurements. An amount of 507 million MKD (around 8,2 million EUR) with the included VAT will be allocated for the supervision process.

Meanwhile, in the agreement with the company that will work on the supervision it is stated that the building of the Kichevo-Ohrid highway will continue in the next 41 months, out of which, 30 months are planned for the construction process and additional 11 months as a set deadline for the potential extension of the works. For the phase past the construction process, a warranty deadline of 24 months is planned.

The construction works on the Kichevo-Ohrid highway began in 2014, but due to serious flaws in the project’s documentation that has led to the rise in the construction costs and the redesigning parts of the highway, the initial deadline for putting the highway into use was extended to three and a half years i.e. on the 30th of June 2021.