▷ SPD questions the role of NRW Transport Minister Brandes in the bridge disaster

31.10.2021 – 14:59

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

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The SPD opposition in the state parliament takes the appointment of the new NRW transport minister Ina Brandes (CDU) as an opportunity to ask the government about Brandes’ role in the Swedish planning group Sweco. This is reported by the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ, Monday edition). The 44-year-old Brandes was the spokeswoman for the Sweco management in Germany between 2011 and 2020. In 2020, as an expert in the transport committee of the state parliament, she described the deficiencies in the production of components in China for the Leverkusen Rhine bridge. Sweco monitored the production of steel components for this A3 bridge on behalf of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in China. They could not be installed due to massive defects, which significantly delayed the bridge project. The construction company responsible at the time, Porr, lost the contract.

The SPD now wants to find out all the details of the state’s order to Sweco with regard to production monitoring as part of a small request to the state government, which is available to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. She also asks about Ina Brandes’ tasks in this context and about which orders the group has received from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In the opinion of SPD parliamentary deputy André Stinka, Brandes, as Sweco’s representative, was “apparently not entirely uninvolved” in the problems involved in building the new bridge. “The fact that Ms. Brandes, as the key witness of the state government, only recently provided arguments for the termination of the general contractor for the construction contract for the Leverkusen bridge in the transport committee, shows that this personnel decision was not very sensitive,” said Carsten Löcker, transport policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, the WAZ .

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