In 20 years, more than 1,000 km of express roads will be built in the country for 5 billion euros

Photo: Evgeny Ratkov

By 2040, it is planned to build high-speed roads in Latvia with a length of about 1,055 kilometers, which has been identified as the main priority in the development of state roads, the Ministry of Transport told the government.

Current estimates are that the estimated cost of converting 1,000 km of main public roads to high-speed roads at 2020 prices is more than € 5.2 billion. Moreover, the exact cost of each project can be determined only after detailed development. The cost depends on the location of the object, the degree of complexity and other factors.

The work is divided into three stages – by 2030 it is planned to build 194.3 kilometers, from 2030 to 2035 – 224 kilometers and from 2035 to 2040 – 637.5 kilometers of high-speed roads.

During a recent, June visit to Daugavpils, Minister of Transport Talis Linkays, in an interview with Mayor Igor Prelatov, said that in 2022 it is planned to develop projects for the overhaul of the A6 road section from Daugavpils to Nitsgale, as well as on the A14 road in the section from the Svente bridge to the intersection with A6. Both of these roads are of national importance, and the company Latvijas valsts ceļi is engaged in their maintenance, but they believe that the traffic intensity here is small, and in Latvia, first of all, roads with heavy traffic are repaired.

A report from the Ministry of Communications says that the reconstruction of the main roads is necessary to ensure fast and safe traffic. Converting a two-lane road to a multi-lane road with separate carriageways can eliminate the most dangerous road accidents, such as head-on and left-hand collisions, which often lead to death or serious consequences.

The ministry cites studies in several countries that road accidents on highways are 50-90% less common than on two-lane public roads. SOOO Latvijas Valsts ceļi (LVC) predicts a total reduction of road accidents in these sections by 50%, which is 347 road accidents, including 111 injured accidents and 13 fatal accidents per year.

The Ministry of Communications notes that the reconstruction of the country’s main roads on the highway will improve the quality of road conditions, the traffic flow will become smoother, and the waiting time for certain traffic flows will be significantly reduced or completely eliminated. Smooth driving results in lower fuel consumption, which leads to greenhouse gas emissions.

The LVC estimates that the construction of high-speed roads on the main national road network will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from road transport by about 16%.

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