Anyone making use of the country’s major highways and roads this summer will have likely noticed – and possibly suffered long delays because of – ongoing and extensive renovation projects. The D1 highway, among the most in need of repair and reconstruction, including lanes and spanning bridges, was the most notable case in point. It should not come as a surprise that the overhaul of that and other routes has led to a rise in expenses: one-quarter according to the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic.
Repairs of Czech roads and motorways this year have been estimated at coming to 9.3 billion crowns, compared to the figure of 7.3 a year earlier. The spokesman for the Czech Road and Motorway directorate, Jan Rýdl, indicated to the Czech News Agency that the estimate was accurate, with 82 percent of allotted funds having been spent by the end of October, when seasonal construction work on the country’s throughways wrapped up. In coming years, with renovation projects resuming in the spring, the budget to fix the country’s motorways is likely to be even higher.
The situation has changed in contrast to previous years, when the bureau found it difficult to spend all allotted funds. The reasons were manifold, the designated-head of the directorate, Soňa Křítková, told the Czech News Agency. For one, in past years numerous projects were scrapped, mothballed or otherwise delayed by previous governments, not least that of former prime minister Petr Nečas, whose cabinet slammed the brakes on spending and introduced heavy austerity measures; other difficulties included some projects beginning too late in the season, leading them to be postponed when temperatures dropped, delaying expenses to the next calendar year.
Such mistakes, the bureau made clear would not be repeated this year, with construction and renovation projects wrapping up by the end of last month. That appeared to be the case, although on the D1 construction continued along some stretches from Prague - Brno until the “the last minute”.