There may not be enough money for the section of the Vilnius-Utena road – then repairs will be stopped in other places

There may not be enough money for the section of the Vilnius-Utena road – then repairs will be stopped in other places
There may not be enough money for the section of the Vilnius-Utena road – then repairs will be stopped in other places

Because the Government gave an additional 40 million euros, and the repair will cost 61 million euros. Skuodis reassures that the works will be carried out even if there is a lack of money, but it is said that road repairs in other parts of the country will have to be stopped.

The Vilnius-Utena road called “Betonkė” or “the biggest shame of Lithuania” is almost 40 years old. Over the years, the condition of the cement-concrete road deteriorated significantly, and only after a long break was a part of the road repaired in the Vilnius district – about 12 kilometers.

About 80 kilometers – all the way to Utena – are almost unimproved. The mayor of Utena says that not only vacationers are in trouble because of the bad road.

We have a large industrial district, many factories, most of the managers in the administration come from Vilnius, Kaunas. We constantly hear comments that people refuse to drive simply because it is not safe to drive there every day”, says Utena District Mayor Marijus Kaukėnas.

The Road Directorate says that enough is enough, the road called “concrete” will not turn into the construction of the century. This road is called the worst not only because of the extremely poor road surface – there are more accidents than usual – last year alone there were 8 traffic accidents, 3 people died, 11 were injured.

The Road Directorate promises to finally fix the worst road in Lithuania within a couple of years.

Minister Skuodis is quick to celebrate on social networks that the repair works of the Vilnius-Utena road will start in a month. It is only important to emphasize that for now the contractors will manage only the 30-kilometer stretch from Molėtai to Utena.

“Everything must be finished by the end of the year”, asserts Minister of Transport Marius Skuodis.

There may not be enough money

Regarding the repair of the Utena highway, the Directorate of Roads signed a contract with the Panevėžys company “HISK”, the company was previously called “Panevėžio kelaiai”. 61 million euros are earmarked for repair works.

“Traffic will flow, there will be 7 sections with traffic restrictions at the same time, because very intensive construction works await. However, the road will not be closed,” says Robert Ziminski, head of HISK.

The company’s financial results speak for themselves – it has not come out of losses for several years. In 2022, it suffered a loss of 5.4 million, in 2021 – 5.5 million. Even last year, the company explained that it suffered huge losses due to the war in Ukraine.

The Road Directorate is also preparing to manage the section from Vilnius to Molėtai. According to the Minister of Transport, the design works for the section of the road from Riešės borough to Molėtai should be completed in the second quarter of this year, immediately after that it is planned to announce tenders for the contract works for this section. A section of approximately 40 kilometers will have to be repaired. However, the head of the Road Directorate is already saying that it will cost much more than the stretch from Molėtai to Utena.

“The value can certainly be more than double that of this section,” says Marius Švaikauskas, head of the Road Directorate.

The government signed up to its program, so apparently it immediately decided that this road must be fixed,” asserts Molėtai district mayor Saulius Jauneika.

However, the end of this Government is less than a year away.

It is written in the contract, if we sign the contract before the next government, we will have to implement it”, says the head of the Road Directorate, Marius Švaikauskas.

May delay other road maintenance work

Having previously planned to build two additional lanes, the road administration changed its mind. It is said that two strips on one side and one strip on the other will be enough.

Traffic intensity drops more than two and a half times, so all roads need to be built efficiently. There’s really no need for highways where there won’t be so many cars”, asserts Marius Švaikauskas, head of the Road Directorate.

The Ministry has planned so many works that the additional 40 million euros provided by the Government this year for the repair of the Vilnius-Utena road will not be enough.

40 million is not enough for us. You have to be very creative about the processes. To all other works, so that we nevertheless implement the priorities that we have declared”, says Minister of Communications Marius Skuodis.

Therefore, it is said that other planned road maintenance works will have to be postponed or money taken from somewhere.

More about it in the video at the beginning of the article.

The article is in Lithuanian

Tags: money section VilniusUtena road repairs stopped places


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