The building works on the section of the Via Baltica, one of the busiest national highways, which will stretch from Marijampolė to the Lithuanian-Polish border, is set to commence next year. The reconstruction of this section is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024. The plans for the reconstruction of the mentioned road have been welcomed by the business community in Marijampolė as it helps grow the region’s appeal to new industrial investments. The Via Baltica is headed for strategic directions. The Via Baltica that we have today has been greatly improved if compared to what it had been three/four years ago or even earlier. The entire highway, in particular its section between the Polish border and Kaunas, is one of the most intense on the traffic flow map. But thanks to the public strategic planning, development and investments, the road with some of the most heavy traffic in Lithuania has been reconstructed and will be maintained in such a way that will enable driving safely at higher speeds and turning around on flyovers, while safety will be improved thanks to its green lanes.
Simonas Petrulis, the Director at the Baltic FEZ, stresses that this road, which meets international standards for infrastructure safety and traffic arrangements, is a highly important and healthful shift that is significant to the economic development of not just the region alone, but that of the entire country too. “The bulk of both incoming and outgoing goods’ flows are undertaken by motor transport. So account should be taken of not only the loading capacity at Šeštokai, Mockava and Marijampolė railway stations, but the major hub — the great Lithuanian junction situated in Kaunas and Palemonas. Strategic directions branch off to the port, the capital and the North going further to Latvia, Estonia and even Finland. But looking towards Western Europe, the flows inevitably go past the Marijampolė gateway. Here the role of the Via Baltica is vital. Hence, its development and ensuring flows and safety at multi-level intersections must definitely be resolved, in my opinion, as soon as possible,” commented the business representative of the region.
The reconstruction works on the Via Baltica section running from Marijampolė to the Lithuanian-Polish border (between 56.83 km and 97.06 km) will commence in 2022 with the strategic environmental assessment already completed and a special spatial plan for the reconstruction of this section already approved, which will be the basis for the road to be widened to carry four lanes of traffic. Currently, the land appropriation procedures and design works are underway. The section with a total length of 40.23 km will be reconstructed to meet the requirements applicable to motorways and will enable driving at the speed of 130 km/h. After the reconstruction, this section will be equipped with safe two-level interchanges and roundabouts (on connecting roads), connecting roads parallel to the main road and a new HGV parking site. It has also been planned to have the existing bridges widened or new ones built across rivers and a noise barrier built.
“I have the honour to represent Marijampolė, a small manufacturing/logistics town with own views and practical insights held for many decades. We, being the management company of the Marijampolė FEZ, frequently find ourselves having to liaise with, listen to, hear and attend meetings concerning master and detailed spatial plans of the municipal council and of the regional development council, and to play the interpreter’s or an intermediary’s role for national, regional and international speakers,” tells Mr Petrulis.