RECONSTRUCTION of some 600 kilometres of first-category roads and 40 bridges that are currently in poor condition will be launched in Slovakia in 2011. Overall costs are planned to reach over €140 million in three separate packages, the SITA newswire reported.
A first tender for reconstruction work has already been completed; two others are currently in progress. Initial work stemming from the first contract is scheduled to start shortly; work on the others should begin in the autumn and finish at the end of 2012. A large proportion of the reconstruction work will take place in eastern Slovakia, Transport Minister Ján Figeľ said in Prešov on June 13, SITA reported.
According to Figeľ, over half of all traffic in Slovakia uses first-category roads but very little public money has been spent on their maintenance over the last 20 years. The ministry intends to finance the new reconstruction projects from EU structural funds.
The first project will focus on bringing specific roads up to modern technical standards; the second should focus on eliminating safety risks on roads in Košice and Prešov Regions, as well as reconstructing some 500 kilometres of roads; and the third project is to modernise and reconstruct bridges on these roads.
Figeľ explained that one of the cabinet’s goals is to narrow regional differences, and said that road construction could help to achieve this. He used as an example the fact that Bratislava Region’s GDP per capita is 230 percent of the national average, while Prešov Region, which has an 18.5-percent unemployment rate, has GDP per capita at 58.7 percent of Slovakia's average.
20. Jun 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff