Road building plans cut by 900 km

19-12-2008, 11:44

Road building authorities have lowered requirements for their contractors. They are also trying to change the law so  that companies get payment in advance.

The General Directorate for National Roads and Highways (GDDKiA) wants 900 km of highways and 2,100 km of express roads to be built till the year 2012. However, the plans will be hard to be implemented.

“We still have an investment program worth PLN 121bn (EUR 28.9bn) but we have decided to verify our assumptions. It may turn out that 900 km of roads will be built later than planned”, Lech Witecki, the temporary head of GDDKiA said.

In fact, the delays may be even bigger. One of the main reasons is the financial crisis and higher credit costs.

“Talks are going on longer because we want to be sure that private partners will get credits. I want to stress, however that GDDKiA has never before engaged so much in supporting the companies to get credits”, Lech Witecki added.

The EIB and EBRD will provide the funds. GDDKiA representatives are meeting commercial banks as well to make it easier for companies to get credits.

There are good news as well. The Directorate promises giant investments. It has already signed 190 contracts, including 32 for new big investments worth nearly PLN 15bn. 23 tenders are going on to build 250 km of roads, next 10 will be announced this year to build 300km of highways, express roads and ring-roads. 80 further tenders are being prepared to renovate surface worth PLN 1bn. GDDKiA wants to admit smaller companies and lowers its criteria. 290 firms will be able to take part in the tenders, up from about a dozen so far. Another advantage provided by road building authorities will be payments in advance.

In 2008, 242.2 km of roads have been constructed in Poland. 538 km of roads are under construction right now. GDDKiA had PLN 21bn budget. PLN 15-16bn will have been spent this year. Next year, the directorate will have over PLN 30bn.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.239)

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