Highways do not solve every regional traffic problem

The previous management of the Transport Ministry failed to remedy many deficiencies. Observers hope the current one will fare better.

The 30-kilometre stretch of the long-awaited Bratislava ring road was recently opened. (Source: TASR)

The now proverbial highway could connect Bratislava and Košice as early as next year. It will not run through Slovakia, though.

The completion of the cross-country D1 highway has been a priority of most post-1993 governments. None has managed to complete it to date. Sooner than the Slovak branch, the two largest Slovak cities will be connected through Hungary.

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In Slovakia, the D1 still lacks three stretches in northern Slovakia, and it is hard to say when they will be completed.

“The current state of the last stretch between Turany and Hubová, the construction of which has not even started yet, makes it impossible to say when the highway between Košice and Bratislava will be finished,” Ivan Rudolf, spokesperson of the Transport Ministry, told The Slovak Spectator.

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The delay in constructing the important roads is only one of the problems the transport department has to deal with. One of the weak points is that the highways or express dual-carriageways are often constructed in the sections where they are not needed at all, and that the ministry does not pay enough attention to the maintenance of the first-class roads that may often replace them.

“Previous governments used to declare many priorities and create expectations in every corner of Slovakia,” Ján Kovalčík, analyst with the INEKO think tank, told The Slovak Spectator, adding that these promises often have not come to fruition. “The weak results were covered with even bigger promises, which only led to people being more frustrated.”

Many unsolved problems

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