Auctions are killing innovation

Participants of the recent round table «Innovations in road construction» came to the conclusion that the methods of work of Glavgosexpertiza and the ongoing electronic auctions hinder the introduction of new materials and technologies in construction, including road construction..

The official conclusions of the government and experts say that in modern Russian conditions, it is possible to increase the road network from 900 thousand to 1.2 million kilometers in more than 150 years. There are a lot of reasons for this — and outdated materials, technology and equipment, and inadequacy of building codes to requirements, and underfunding of the industry, and much more. In addition, the task of doubling GDP is impossible without a new transport network that will accelerate transport flows..

According to the General Director of DSK AVTOBAN A. Andreev, it is necessary to create a Strategy for the economic development of the state with the Strategy for the development of transport networks in Russia included in it. Transport networks of highways should be created for reasonable, not minimal means, meet the requirements of the country’s economic development and ensure the safety and durability of travel.

All this is impossible without attracting innovation, which requires solid financial influence. However, the current legislation does not even give a chance for such a development of events, while Law 94-FZ «On State Procurements» is in force, which sets the minimum price for construction, but does not take into account the quality of construction, the qualifications of potential bidders, etc. The new law on the Federal Contract System, although a small step forward, also creates difficulties for the introduction of innovations. It has a price criterion and a permitted dumping of 25%, which again will lead to victories by unknown companies and the absence of a reasonable price for construction..

In addition, according to A. Andreev, it is worth talking not about the price of the construction itself, but about the cycle of the road itself. Moreover, it is necessary that contractors are responsible not only for construction, but also for further operation — these are the so-called life cycle contracts. Only in this case business will be interested in introducing innovations in road construction. Thus, more funds will be spent during construction, so that later they will spend less on maintenance and repair of roads, ensuring an increase in turnaround time and durability of routes. However, today innovation is being used to reduce construction costs, which rarely leads to increased durability..

A. Andreev also spoke about road science. For example, active adhesion additives are used in the world, and not passive ones, as in our country, which ensures the «adhesion» of bitumen to the stone base. The bearing layer of asphalt concrete on Russian roads is 8 cm, and for example, in Germany — 22 cm. If it has accumulated fatigue due to deformation, then replacing the upper layers will not bring results. In addition, road projects are already being carried out everywhere in 3D format, but in our country — on a plane..

Let’s go back to the legislative base. The deputy head of the Federal Road Agency N. Bystrov expressed even more skepticism than A. Andreev. In his opinion, it is FZ-94 and Glavgosexpertiza that prevent the country’s road network from being of high quality and reliable, since they do not contain a word about the requirements for the qualifications of the contractor. That is why foreign companies that do not have orders in Europe do not even strive for Russian auctions, although they work quite calmly on orders from private ones. The state itself creates obstacles to the development of its own high-quality road network, and even the FCC law does not solve these problems, since it does not speak about the qualifications of a possible winner either..

Generally speaking, experts in the field of road construction are confident that without life cycle contracts, it is impossible to combine the interests of the customer and the contractor. The first one wants to get a road, the second one wants to make a profit at minimal costs. In modern conditions, this is impossible, since it is easier for the contractor to spend the minimum, make a profit and forget about the further operation of the facility, which often turns out to be much more expensive than the construction itself. Of course, the application of innovation implies an increase in the cost of the road construction, but at the same time, it provides savings throughout the entire life cycle..

The implementation of government decrees, presidential decrees and other important documents related to construction is impossible without modern innovations that take into account a lot of necessary factors and aimed at improving the situation..