On Tuesday, 15 January, Latvian government approved a project of rules from the Cabinet of Ministers. The goal of this project is ensuring rational use of public funds for road and street construction.
The State and Municipal Roads and Roads Construction General Quality Requirements clarify existing regulations for construction quality applied to roads, streets and bridges.
At the same time, new rules also provide requirements for construction companies to ensure roads and streets are provided with appropriate layer of asphalt or concrete.
As noted in Transport Ministry’s report, clarified requirements will have to be included in specifications of different construction contracts.
«Latvian State Roads has developed Road Specifications for state road construction. Quality requirements therein are higher than the ones proposed in this draft. LVC road specifications or each municipality’s own construction requirements can be used for road and street construction. However, municipalities do not have the right to establish quality requirements lower than the ones proposed in these rules,» the ministry explains.
It should be said that in a previous conversation with BNN the chairman of Latvijas Ceļu būvētājs Andris Bērziņš had voiced a harsh opinion in regards to funding problems in the industry. «It is not normal for the industry to receive an additional amount of EUR 100 million shortly before elections. By doing this, Transport Minister Uldis Augulis does not benefit the industry – he hurts the construction industry.»
He said there is a whole truck-load of all kinds of political planning documents, but none of them are being realized. «It looks more and more those plans were developed not to sort something in Latvia by because someone needed to travel to Europe and put a smoke and mirrors show and get their hands of more EU money,» said Bērziņš.
In regards to the situation in Latvia, Bērziņš said the country will have spent all the money allocated for roads over the course of 2019. Finances from the Cohesion Fund and Regional Development Fund will cover only the last three projects to be realized this year. «2020 is the last in the current planning period (2014-2020), but the amount of European money there will be zero,» he said.