There are approximately 4,000 km of roads in Latvia that are practically unused for transport, said Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis on November 9.
He says most of those roads are local and municipal roads. With that, maintenance intensity will be reduced for those roads.
“It would be nice if we could maintain roads leading to forests to accommodate mushroom gatherers. Unfortunately, we cannot afford it,” said the minister.
Maintenance intensity for approximately 200 km of roads used very intensely, on the other hand, will be increased. This means it will be possible to clear those roads of snow more often in winter.
Augulis agrees that the state of roads in Latvia is unsatisfactory. Estimated funding deficit for road maintenance is approximately EUR 4 billion. But because the country has many different needs, it is not possible to allocate more money for road maintenance.
The minister says that next year’s plan includes the allocation of EUR 25 million for road repairs. This money will be provided for regional roads to help reconstruct approximately 300 km of regional roads. This year’s funding is only EUR 9 million.
According to Augulis, additional finances will be allocated in future years.
“If we maintain this level of road funding for a lengthy period, we will be able to progress forward very quickly,” said the minister. (BNN/Business World Magazine)