- Construction works begin on a 13 km long section of the pedestrian and cycle path from Smiltyne to Juodkrante
Construction works begin on a 13 km long section of the pedestrian and cycle path from Smiltyne to Juodkrante
Two agreements concluded by the SE Lithuanian Road Administration (hereinafter – the Road Administration) with a contractor for the management of two sections of the pedestrian and cycle path in Neringa, from Smiltyne to Juodkrante (sections from 2.104 to 2.956 km and from 2.956 to 15.567 km), have entered into force. The works are scheduled for completion in July 2023, with a total agreement value of €5.8 million including VAT.
The project includes a new path up to 3.5 m wide (currently the width varies from 2 to 2.5 m), as well as rest areas. The solutions of the reconstructed sections have been chosen to adapt to the existing situation, in order to preserve as much as possible of the existing greenery and trees. The resurfacing and widening of the path will make it safer and more comfortable.
“The heavily deteriorated bicycle path in Curonian Spit has already attracted negative public attention due to its condition, which is why I am pleased to announce to all cyclists an important news about the reconstruction works that will be starting in the near future this year. The reconstruction of the path has been delayed for decades, so we have rushed the preparatory works as fast as possible and the Road Administration already has agreements concluded with contractors regarding the two sections of the path,” says Marius Skuodis, the Minister of Transport and Communications.
According to Remigijus Lipkevičius, Director of the SE Lithuanian Road Administration, the Smiltyne-Nida pedestrian and bicycle path is not only important for the residents of Neringa, but also for visitors who come to admire this unique place of Lithuania and who often travel by bicycle or on foot, and that is why the improvement of the path is one of the most important projects of the Road Administration.
According to the Head of the Road Administration, the preparation of the technical design and the announcement of public procurement procedures was also not easy, as the path passes through a protected area in the Curonian Spit, and the approvals of the Curonian Spit National Park Directorate and other interested authorities had to be obtained before the projects were implemented.
The sections to be reconstructed coincide with the international cycle routes EuroVelo 10 (Baltic Sea Route) and EuroVelo 13 (Iron Curtain Trail).
As part of the agreements that have entered into force, 13.46 km of pedestrian and cycling path will be improved along two sections from Smiltyne to Juodkrante. The other part of the path, from Juodkrante to Preila, is planned to be completed later this year, and public procurement procedures for the agreement will be launched at the end of this year – early next year.
The Road Administration was only able to start design work on the path after the municipalities of Neringa and Klaipėda agreed to sign cooperation agreements and received decisions from the municipal councils that the municipalities would take over the ownership of the path when it was completed. After the improvement and handover of the pedestrian and bicycle path, 850 metres of the path will belong to Klaipėda City Municipality and about 34 kilometres to Neringa Municipality.
According to the Centre of Registers, the first section of the path from Pervalka to Pervalka Beach was built as early as 1978. Subsequently, separate sections of the path were built at different times. The total length of the Smiltynė-Nida path is currently around 50 km. Most of it, almost 36 km, belongs to the SE Lithuanian Road Administration as of 2019, while the rest belongs to Neringa Municipality.