Fewer gravel roads in Lithuania: newly paved roads on many picturesque routes
This summer, travelers around Lithuania can already reach various picturesque places by going on newly paved roads. In the country’s regions, about 30 sections of gravel roads were paved this year, many of them leading through landscape reserves, along rivers or around lakes, a press release from the Transport and Communications Ministry states.
'The main goal of the gravel road pavement is to improve the daily traffic, to facilitate access to the main roads, residential areas, district centres. But especially in the summer we see another advantage of newly paved roads – the possibility to more conveniently and safely access recreational areas in the nature and discover new tourism routes', says Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis.
For example, the highest bridge in Lithuania – the Lyduvėnai railway bridge – can be conveniently reached by a newly paved road which stretches along the Dubysa river in the Lyduvėnai Landscape Reserve, Raseiniai district. 5.5 km of gravel surface of this regional road No. 3516 Kušeliskė–Lyduvėnai was paved this year. The Nevėžis Landscape Reserve can be more easily accessed now by driving on the 6 km section of road No. 1922 Raudondvaris–Naujieji Bernatoniai–Žemaitkiemis which was paved only a month ago.
A 3 km section of gravel was asphalted on road No. 2521 Stračiūnai–Ricieliai–Gailiūnai, in the area at the Snaigupė forest and Ricieliai village near Druskininkai, which is surrounded by four lakes. Also, asphalt surface was made for a section of road No. 3105 Saločiai–Kiemėnai at the Mūša river in the Pasvalys district as well as a section of road No. 1934 Ilgakiemis–Pajiesys going through the Pajiesys forest towards the Pajiesys pond in the Kaunas district.
According to the data of the Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, this year approximately 130 km of regional gravel roads of national significance have been paved since the beginning of the work season. According to the contracts that are already signed and in progress, another 307 km of roads are to be paved.
'We choose which sections should be paved according to special methodologies, based on clear criteria and in cooperation with municipalities', says Vitalijus Andrejevas, Head of the Lithuanian Road Administration. For example, sections of gravel roads in residential areas are to be paved taking into account the population size, traffic volume and received public requests. According to Mr Andrejevas, another part of the work is planned where paved road surface is interrupted by sections of gravel. The aim is to avoid such irregularities. When planning the pavement of such roads, it is taken into account whether any public transport routes pass through them, and whether pavement of such roads will improve traffic intensity, access to famous sights, etc.