2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program: 100 bypasses in 10 years
>The 100 Bypasses Construction Program was one of the promises of Law and Justice before the parliamentary elections in 2019. During the election campaign, Mateusz Morawiecki announced the construction of the Museum of the Battle of Warsaw by 2022, raising the minimum wage to PLN 4,000 in 2023, and extensive investment in road infrastructure. In this article, we will discuss the assumptions of the bypass construction program and analyse what part of the investment has already been implemented.
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2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program: assumptions
The 100 bypasses construction program envisages the implementation of infrastructural projects throughout Poland. The planned total length of the roads is approximately 820 km. Estimated investment costs amount to over PLN 28 billion. As part of the program, routes with the highest technical parameters are to be built, adapted to carry a load of 11.5 t/axle. The program also foresees the construction of road safety devices, such as traffic lights and modern lighting for pedestrian crossings. All investments falling under the government program are to be carried out by the General Director for National Roads and Motorways.
Why are bypasses built?
Every government program has certain goals it aims to achieve. After all, high-budget investments should be dictated by real needs and benefits for citizens. The objectives of the 2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program include:
- improving road safety
- diverting traffic from crowded cities
- improving the capacity of the road network
- reducing noise and air pollution
One of the main reasons for the construction of bypasses is the reduction of road transit in cities. Trucks travel on many city roads due to a lack of other options. Bypasses noticeably improve road transport by limiting the number of truck tractors and trucks in cities. This brings a number of benefits, i.e. more efficient transport, less traffic in cities and reduced exhaust emissions in built-up areas.
100 bypasses in 10 years: financing
Are you wondering how the Bypass Construction Program is financed? As you might guess, from taxpayer money, and more precisely from the National Road Fund. This fund is financed by fuel fees, the Electronic Toll Collection System, driver’s license fees as well as loans. The European Union will also contribute financially to the construction of the bypasses. The KFD account is funded by various types of European operational programs within the 2021-2027 perspectives.
Bypass selection criteria
The selection of bypass projects included in the 2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program is a multi-stage process. The factors that are of key importance to qualify for the program include:
- current state of preparatory work
- traffic intensity (including heavy traffic)
- the state of road safety in individual towns, measured by the level of accidents and their mortality rate
- improving the accessibility of connections with neighbouring countries
- maintaining sustainable development of the country
Some of the planned bypasses already have the documentation necessary to start the investment, while others are still at the preparatory stage. Some of them are just beginning preparatory work, which illustrates the diversity of the whole undertaking.
2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program : current status of works
At the moment, as part of the program to build 100 bypasses in 10 years, two bypasses have been completed: Smolajn (1.8 km) and Brzezia (4.5 km). Another thirteen bypasses with a total length of 105.4 km have received a permit to carry out the investment, and thus construction work is already underway there. These are:
- Kośmin Wielkopolski
- Strzelce Kajeńskie
These projects are at various stages of completion. Some of them are still waiting to obtain the relevant permits, while some already have an asphalt surface. The construction of the Gąski, Dzwola and Gorajec bypasses for which tender procedures are pending should also begin in the near future. The remaining 82 bypasses are at the planning stage.
Will inflation stand in the way of bypass construction?
When Mateusz Morawiecki announced the plan to build 100 bypasses in 10 years, the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic were still unknown. Hardly anyone foresaw the armed attack on Ukraine by Russia. These two factors are most often cited when analysing the causes of high inflation in Poland and Europe. Due to the economic situation in our country, on May 24, 2022, the Council of Ministers adopted a resolution to increase the financial limit of the program for the construction of 100 bypasses by PLN 115 million. The decision is dictated by the negative effects of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, such as:
- outflow of Ukrainian citizens from Poland
- increase in prices of selected assortments
- extended waiting periods for raw material deliveries
According to the estimates by the Ministry of Infrastructure, construction industry workers from Ukraine account for about ¼ of all workers involved in the 2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program. It is also worth noting that earlier forecasts did not account for such a dynamic increase in inflation and wages.
Program to build 100 bypasses in 10 years: status in 2023
- 2 bypasses built
- 13 bypasses under construction
- two tenders announced for the construction of bypasses
- budget increase to PLN 28 billion
Four years have passed since the 2019 pre-election announcements. In its current form, the 2020-2030 Bypass Construction Program itself is already 2 years old. As the old adage goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The same applies to bypasses, which require obtaining a number of permits as well as carrying out design and construction work. At the moment, only 6.3 km of roads from the program have been handed over for use. A total of 18 investments have been confirmed. The remaining 82 bypasses are at the planning stage. Will they be implemented in the end? We will have to wait a few more years to find out.