250 million euros worth of road works are planned for 101 projects this year, which is the same amount of money as last year, according to Latvian State Roads (LVC) Director Jāis Lange on January 29.
According to LVC last year road quality was improved by 8%, and this year 72% or main roads are in good or excellent condition, but unfortunately that doesn’t apply to regional and local roads, as the budget doesn’t extend that far. This year works are planned for 45 regional roads, 10 main road segments, 20 local road segments, as well as bridges and safety features.
“The most significant works are the same as last year – we have to complete the “Sēnītes” highway, we have to complete the Jūrmala highway,” said Lange.
Other important projects include a segment of the Liepāja highway, a segment of the Liepāja highway, as well as the Rēzekne highway and bypass road and a string of regional roads. This year there will be less financing from the European Union, but the state budget will contribute more to even out the amount. LVC has also saved money on road cleaning due to the warm winter.
“From the perspective of kilometers we’re working with about the same amount as last year and the financing is essentially the same as last year. The only change is the financing structure,” said Lange.
He also denies Latvian association of road builders, Latvijas Ceļu Būvētājs Director Andris Bērziņš’ assertion that road workers will lose jobs due to fewer road works projects, although Lange can’t predict what will happen in 2021 and beyond.
LVC is currently working with the Transport Ministry on a road management model, which includes municipalities taking on more responsibilities for road management. A road works map will be published on the LVC website.