ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Rome’s Eternally Unfinished Metro C – New line’s costs could exceed €6 billion. Completed section remains closed. THE CORRIERE DELLA SERA (03|11|2014).

ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Rome’s Eternally Unfinished Metro C - New line’s costs could exceed €6 billion. Completed section remains closed. THE CORRIERE DELLA SERA (03|11|2014).
The record is there for the taking. If the Rome metro’s C line is ever handed over, it could be post-war Italy’s most expensive public project. Emblematic of the whole affair is a legal battle between city authorities and construction companies that has been dragging on for seven years. An arbitration procedure from 2007, a few months after the contract was awarded to the general contractor Metro C, appeared to have been concluded in September 2012, five years after it started. For once, the public sector did not come off worse. The contractors were seeking a €210 million hike but the arbitrators awarded only €15 million. Nevertheless the municipality, or rather the municipal company that manages relations with the consortium of Astaldi, the Caltagirone group, various construction cooperatives and Ansaldo Finmeccanica, opted to challenge the decision. A ruling is awaited from the appeal court, which has set the first hearing for 10 October 2017. Five years after the award was appealed. Elsewhere, it took Madrid just thirty-six months to complete its new metro line.

There is one clear moral to be drawn from the legal battle in Rome and its backwash of teetering councils, door-slamming councillors and dismissed CEOs. The special law that was supposed to ensure reliable timescales and cost projections has been a spectacular failure. Now about those costs. You only need to read the fifty-nine-page report filed with the Rome prosecution service a few weeks ago by Radical party councillors Riccardo Magi and Antonio Tamburrino to see how a €2.7-billion contract awarded for the whole of the 25.6-kilometre section has bloated into an eye-watering bill for €3.7 billion. And the trickiest stretch – in the city centre underneath Corso Vittorio Emanuele – remains to be tackled.

As long as two years ago, the Court of Auditors painted a mind-boggling picture when it calculated that if the missing section was comparable to stretches already completed, the total cost could be more than €6 billion, half a billion more than Venice’s Mose flood barrier. That works out at €234 million per kilometre against a European average of €120-150 million. Then there is the timescale. The contract was awarded in 2006 under special law procedures and the first section was scheduled to open by 30 April 2011. It’s the end of 2014 and we’re still waiting. The section has yet to be opened because its systems don’t work. On 3 October, the inspection committee chaired by former state accountant general Andrea Monorchio concluded that “requirements for the purposes of commercial use have not been met”, or in plain English, the line cannot carry passengers.

Obviously, digging a hole in Madrid is not the same as digging one in the centre of Rome and the archaeological superintendency is inevitably invoked over the costs and the timescales. The superintendency did in fact write to the Roma Metropolitane company to point out that neither costs nor timescales are of any interest to archaeology. We should, however, also note that there have not yet been any close encounters between the tunnelling machine and archaeological remains. Rising costs and lengthening delivery times have other causes, spotlighted by Raffaele Cantone’s corruption watchdog. The Court of Auditors has also stepped in, initiating proceedings against twenty-one public-sector executives for an alleged loss to the public purse of €363 million.

The cost overrun is driven by engineering decisions. Metro C secured the award with a single-tunnel project only for the design to be changed. Work stumbles on amid variations that to date have totalled forty-five. Not bad for a contract that was supposed to have a firm schedule and costs only to become enmeshed in headline-grabbing political battles like the one that led to the resignation of the budget councillor on Ignazio Marino’s council, Daniela Morgante. Ms Morgante, a government auditor, contested the award of €90 million in additional costs to Metro C. We might point out that in 2010, the consortium was one of the financial sponsors of the People of Freedom (PDL), which was then in power in Rome. There have also been some ridiculous legal battles, like the one between the municipality of Rome and its entirely owned subsidiary, Roma Metropolitane. Why does Roma Metropolitane – a publicly owned company that in December 2012 employed 189 people and spent more than €13 million on salaries alone – exist? To supervise the project.

And while the municipality argues with itself, the capital of Italy, and one of the world’s most congested cities, continues to have fewer metro lines than Bilboa. Does it always have to end like this?The record is there for the taking. If the Rome metro’s C line is ever handed over, it could be post-war Italy’s most expensive public project. Emblematic of the whole affair is a legal battle between city authorities and construction companies that has been dragging on for seven years. An arbitration procedure from 2007, a few months after the contract was awarded to the general contractor Metro C, appeared to have been concluded in September 2012, five years after it started. For once, the public sector did not come off worse. The contractors were seeking a €210 million hike but the arbitrators awarded only €15 million. Nevertheless the municipality, or rather the municipal company that manages relations with the consortium of Astaldi, the Caltagirone group, various construction cooperatives and Ansaldo Finmeccanica, opted to challenge the decision. A ruling is awaited from the appeal court, which has set the first hearing for 10 October 2017. Five years after the award was appealed. Elsewhere, it took Madrid just thirty-six months to complete its new metro line.

There is one clear moral to be drawn from the legal battle in Rome and its backwash of teetering councils, door-slamming councillors and dismissed CEOs. The special law that was supposed to ensure reliable timescales and cost projections has been a spectacular failure. Now about those costs. You only need to read the fifty-nine-page report filed with the Rome prosecution service a few weeks ago by Radical party councillors Riccardo Magi and Antonio Tamburrino to see how a €2.7-billion contract awarded for the whole of the 25.6-kilometre section has bloated into an eye-watering bill for €3.7 billion. And the trickiest stretch – in the city centre underneath Corso Vittorio Emanuele – remains to be tackled.

As long as two years ago, the Court of Auditors painted a mind-boggling picture when it calculated that if the missing section was comparable to stretches already completed, the total cost could be more than €6 billion, half a billion more than Venice’s Mose flood barrier. That works out at €234 million per kilometre against a European average of €120-150 million. Then there is the timescale. The contract was awarded in 2006 under special law procedures and the first section was scheduled to open by 30 April 2011. It’s the end of 2014 and we’re still waiting. The section has yet to be opened because its systems don’t work. On 3 October, the inspection committee chaired by former state accountant general Andrea Monorchio concluded that “requirements for the purposes of commercial use have not been met”, or in plain English, the line cannot carry passengers.

Obviously, digging a hole in Madrid is not the same as digging one in the centre of Rome and the archaeological superintendency is inevitably invoked over the costs and the timescales. The superintendency did in fact write to the Roma Metropolitane company to point out that neither costs nor timescales are of any interest to archaeology. We should, however, also note that there have not yet been any close encounters between the tunnelling machine and archaeological remains. Rising costs and lengthening delivery times have other causes, spotlighted by Raffaele Cantone’s corruption watchdog. The Court of Auditors has also stepped in, initiating proceedings against twenty-one public-sector executives for an alleged loss to the public purse of €363 million.

The cost overrun is driven by engineering decisions. Metro C secured the award with a single-tunnel project only for the design to be changed. Work stumbles on amid variations that to date have totalled forty-five. Not bad for a contract that was supposed to have a firm schedule and costs only to become enmeshed in headline-grabbing political battles like the one that led to the resignation of the budget councillor on Ignazio Marino’s council, Daniela Morgante. Ms Morgante, a government auditor, contested the award of €90 million in additional costs to Metro C. We might point out that in 2010, the consortium was one of the financial sponsors of the People of Freedom (PDL), which was then in power in Rome. There have also been some ridiculous legal battles, like the one between the municipality of Rome and its entirely owned subsidiary, Roma Metropolitane. Why does Roma Metropolitane – a publicly owned company that in December 2012 employed 189 people and spent more than €13 million on salaries alone – exist? To supervise the project.

And while the municipality argues with itself, the capital of Italy, and one of the world’s most congested cities, continues to have fewer metro lines than Bilboa. Does it always have to end like this?

Fonte | source:

— THE CORRIERE DELLA SERA (03|11|2014).

http://www.corriere.it/english/14_novembre_03/rome-s-eternally-unfinished-metro-c-b189236c-6350-11e4-bb4b-8f3ba36eaccf.shtml

Foto | Fonte |source:

— ROMA FA SCHIFO – Metro C inaugurata oggi e già devastata dall’acido dei vandali
(09 novembre 2014).

http://www.romafaschifo.com/2014/11/metro-c-inaugurata-oggi-e-gia-devastata.html

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