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6 Nov 2018

Belarus president wants concise plan for fixing all bridges ready next year

Belarus president wants concise plan for fixing all bridges ready next year

ZHITKOVICHI DISTRICT, 6 November (BelTA) – A concise plan for reconstructing bridges in Belarus should be ready in Q1 2019. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions to Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak as he visited Gomel Oblast and opened a reconstructed bridge in Zhitkovichi District on 6 November, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed: “The availability of well-developed transport infrastructure is a very important component in the uniform development of regions of Belarus. This is why the state of all the bridges in the country is being evaluated. Decisions will be made after that.”

“Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak told me today about the most important bridges on the main motorways. We need to reconstruct, modernize, or replace 32 bridges,” said the head of state. Alexander Lukashenko pointed out to the importance of bridges not only on motorways of national importance but also municipal ones. “Some municipal roads and bridges are as important as national ones,” he said.

In line with the standing instructions results of the inspections of bridge structures will be submitted to the head of state in Q1 2019. The final decision on the timeline for fixing the bridges and the necessary funding will be made then.

“Today we’ve agreed that we will get down to repairing, modernizing, or replacing 3-10 bridges right away in addition to the 20 bridges we are already working on,” continued Alexander Lukashenko. “This way we will fix roughly 25 bridges within one year. We will raise funds for it. If necessary, we will divert money from all programs and channel it into bridges.”

“Everything has to be done on time. All the inspections will be done by the new year. We will have to make the final decision in the first quarter. There is no need to wait for the bridges to break down. We should do all the work on time,” stressed the head of state.

All in all, there are 2,259 bridge structures on motorways of national importance, with their total length at 104,900 meters. The number includes 1,712 bridges, 481 overpasses, 66 pedestrian bridges and bridges for cattle. There is one ferry crossing. Extreme deterioration of the bridges on public roads and the high cost of their reconstruction is a major problem for the Belarusian road industry. A considerable number of defects were registered in 2017. The inspection of bridges will continue in 2018 and 2019 on a regular basis. The Transport and Communications Ministry has put together a ranking of 32 bridge structures in need of urgent reconstruction. Blueprints and investment justifications are being developed for them now in order to determine the amount of work and money these projects will require. The most critical bridges span the Zapadnaya Dvina River on the approach to Novopolotsk and the Pina River on the Ivatsevichi-Pinsk-Stolin motorway.

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