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Part of the “Via Baltica” being built in Poland is in cement concrete

2022-07-25

Representatives of the Lithuanian Road Administration (hereinafter – the Road Administration) visited colleagues in Poland, where they inspected the construction works being carried out on the S61 Augustow-Budzisko road (part of the “Via Baltica” project in Poland), and familiarised themselves with the technology used to construct concrete roads. This project will help assess whether asphalt concrete surface can be used in Lithuania in the future.

“We are familiar with asphalt concrete surfaces, whereas concrete surfaces are a rarity. Asphalt concrete surfaces are more expensive to install, maintain and repair than asphalt surfaces. However, the advantage of such surfaces is that a properly installed and maintained surface is more durable, local materials (cement) are used, and they heat up less in the summer,” said Remigijus Lipkevičius, the Director of the Road Administration.

The two-layer asphalt concrete surface is automatically reinforced by the insertion of reinforcing bars into the lower layer. Interestingly, the production of asphalt concrete takes place on the construction site itself in a temporary concrete batching plant, which will be relocated to the new construction site after the surface is installed. A two-layer asphalt concrete surface is installed, with reinforcing bars embedded in the lower layer.

Perhaps the only such road in Lithuania is the A14 Vilnius-Utena motorway, built between 1978 and 1987, which has an asphalt concrete surface. However, the construction of this road in the Soviet era was carried out before the composition of the concrete mix was sufficiently perfected, and the experiment could not be carried out in a qualitative manner, which is why the A14 Vilnius-Utena road is one of the most problematic roads in Lithuania today. The deformations, cracks, fissures and unevenness that have appeared in many places on this road pose a risk to road safety and cause discomfort for drivers and passengers. When we reconstruct a road, we replace a worn-out cement concrete surface with an asphalt concrete surface that we prefer.

The S61 Augustow-Budzisko project, currently under development, envisages the construction of a 24.16 km two-lane road in each direction, with a dividing lane and civil engineering structures such as bridges, flyovers, viaducts and animal crossings (a total of 34 such civil engineering structures), 2 junctions and 4 rest areas. The planned speed limit is 110 km/h. The Polish section of “Via Baltica” is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

As a reminder, this spring the Road Administration announced a public procurement for the reconstruction of the section from 72.50 to 79.00 km of the A5 Kaunas-Marijampolė-Suvalkai (“Via Baltica”) main road. Following successful public procurement procedures, the contract with the contractor is expected to be concluded in the third quarter of this year.

Following the completion of the design this year, two more tenders for contract works are also foreseen for the sections from 79.00 to 85.00 km and from 56.83 to 72.50 km. The start of work on these sections will depend on the duration of the tendering process. The fourth section of the road, from 85.00 to 97.06 km, is planned to be put out to tender in late 2022 and early 2023.

The A5 Kaunas-Marijampolė-Suvalkai section from 56.83 km to 97.06 km (total length 40.23 km) will be reconstructed according to the main road category, with a speed of 130 km/h. The completion of the works on this section is scheduled for December 2024.