During the concluding government session last year, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze assessed the year and highlighted the accomplishments of City Hall, underlining the rehabilitation of roads throughout the capital. However, Tsereteli Avenue was absent from the discussion which has been undergoing rehabilitation for nearly a year.

Curious to learn about the completion timeline for Tsereteli Avenue’s rehabilitation, we examined the details of the announced tenders related to the project.

Following the commencement of the rehabilitation process of Tsereteli Avenue in January 2023, periodic partial restrictions for vehicles have been imposed on movement in specific sections of the avenue.

Tsereteli Avenue was divided into three sections for rehabilitation, each with separate tenders announced by Tbilisi City Hall. The first section spans from Tsabadze Street to Gvetadze Street, the second part extends from Gvetadze Street to Samtredia Street and the third section covers the area from Samtredia Street to Didube Bridge.

First Section (Tsabadze-Gvetadze Streets)

Tbilisi City Hall issued the tender for the first section on 16 January 2023 with a value of GEL 8,889,150 under reference NAT230001040. The tender attracted four bidders and ultimately Er Te De LLC emerged as the winner (due to the lowest price offer). The final tender value was set at GEL 8,198,293.

The contract with Er Te De was signed on 27 February 2023. The company was required to submit the design documentation within 50 calendar days from the effective date of the contract as per the terms of the contract whereas the deadline for completing the construction work was set at 120 calendar days.

Subsequently, the contract underwent six adjustments that altered both the completion schedule and the cost. The contract value increased by GEL 819,656 on 11 October 2023 making the section’s final value GEL 9,017,949. The deadline of the project was changed several times, each instance corresponding to several formal notes from the company. The most recent update added an extra 16 days to the section’s completion deadline on 29 December 2023 (totalling 193 days instead of the initially stated 120) with full completion projected to the end of January of the current year.

Notably, Er Te De LLC was repeatedly fined by Tbilisi City Hall for not adhering to a 24-hour rehabilitation schedule and for the delayed completion time. The company has incurred fines on 11 separate occasions since the contract’s beginning totalling GEL 744,230.

The company was founded in 2013 according to the Register of Entrepreneurs and Non-Entrepreneurial (Non-Commercial) Legal Entities. At the moment, the company's owner and director is Lukhum Kartlosishvili. The business has successfully acquired 101 tenders over the years. Lukhum Kartlosishvili donated GEL 25,000 to the Georgian Dream political party in 2016.

Second Section (Gvetadze-Samtredia)

The tender for the second section of Tsereteli Avenue (NAT230001041) was announced on 18 January 2023 with its value constituting GEL 13,021,525. Out of the three bidders of the tender, the Millennium Builders Group company won for its low offer price. The contract worth GEL 11,844,540 was signed on 27 February 2023 according to which the company was required to submit the design documentation within 50 calendar days whereas the deadline for completing the construction work was set at 150 calendar days.

Nine alterations have been made to the contract, including changes both in the budget for rehabilitation and the deadline. The contract value increased by GEL 1,184,340, totalling GEL 13,028,880. As for the deadline, the initial 150 days have been changed to 226 days. The rehabilitation work began on 20 May 2023 according to the document. Completion is expected by January 2024.

Notably, Tbilisi City Hall has fined the company ten times within the duration of the aforementioned contract. Each fine was incurred following the failure to begin work at the proper time and for not complying with the 24-hour work schedule.

Of additional note is that the company is responsible for construction on the third section of Tsereteli Avenue. According to the Tenders Monitor, the Millennium Builders Group company has won 94 tenders in total.

Third Section (from Samtredia Street to Didube Bridge)

The tender for the third section of Tsereteli Avenue (NAT230001042) was announced on 18 January 2023 with an expected value of GEL 8,542,914. Out of the three contenders, once again LLC Millennium Builders Group won with a contract worth GEL 8,365,450. According to the terms of the contract, the company was required to submit the design documentation within 50 days whereas the deadline for completing the construction work was set at 150 days. The contract underwent eight changes to adjust the value and the rehabilitation deadline of the contract similar to the two cases above. The final budget was increased by GEL 836,400, totalling GEL 9,201,870 in the end whereas the deadline was extended from 120 days to 218 days. Therefore, the rehabilitation work on this section should also be finished in January.

Tbilisi City Hall has fined the company nine times for failure to comply with the proper start time and rehabilitation work on this section as well. The total amount of the fines was GEL 49,649.

Didube (Shalikashvili) Bridge

Tbilisi City Hall announced the tender for the rehabilitation of Didube Bridge on 24 February 2023. The projected value of the tender was GEL 4,244,000. The only contender of the tender, Avtogza Lentekhi 99, signed the contract in March 2023. The final value of the contract amounted to GEL 4,243,372 and the rehabilitation work was planned to end within 180 calendar days.

Similar to the aforementioned contracts, four changes have been made to the contract. Finally, the value of the contract rose by GEL 286,226 and constituted GEL 4,529,000 whereas the deadline was set at 195 days instead of the initially projected 180.

Tbilisi City Hall fined the company 12 times, collectively amounting to GEL 32,600, for failing to implement the work within the agreed upon terms.

Conclusion

Two companies are responsible for the rehabilitation of Tsereteli Avenue: LLC Er Te De and the Millennium Builders Group company with the latter implementing the rehabilitation work on two sections.

According to the investigated materials, the contracts with the aforementioned companies have been adjusted on numerous occasions, increasing the value of the contract (GEL 2,840,396 in total) and extending the deadline for the rehabilitation work each time.

It is also noteworthy that the responsible companies have been repeatedly fined for failure to properly comply, or not complying at all, with the contract terms, suggesting irresponsibility and a lack of qualification vis-à-vis these companies.

According to the most recent adjustments of the respective contracts, the rehabilitation work on Tsereteli Avenue should be finished in January of the current year in the best case scenario.

To conclude, the rehabilitation of Tsereteli Avenue has resulted in a months-long transport collapse for the population of Tbilisi and has cost the Tbilisi budget GEL 31,239,679 with an additional GEL 4,529,600 corresponding to the rehabilitation of the bridge.


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