Reconstruction of Panevėžys Bypass on Via Baltica Completed
To improve traffic conditions on Via Baltica, the reconstruction of the 22-km-long Panevėžys bypass has been completed. It was widened from 2 to 3 traffic lanes and reversible traffic organization has approximated it to a highway.
According to the Minister of Transport and Communications Mr Jaroslav Narkevič, works performed on Via Baltica are extremely important for traffic safety and comfort of driving. Conditions have been created on the country’s key highway from north to south to drive faster with a lower risk of accidents.
Panevėžys bypass (road A17) has been widened from 2 to 3 traffic lanes, with the first 3 km up to 4 traffic lanes. During reconstruction, connecting roads, a railway viaduct, tunnel viaduct and tunnel passages were constructed and bridges over the rivers Nevėžis and Lėvuo were reconstructed. To improve traffic safety, two turbo roundabouts, pedestrian and bicycle lanes, lightening and speed control systems (variable information road signs) were installed as well.
A new traffic organization method was introduced: reverse traffic lanes 2+1, i. e. two traffic lanes in one direction and one in another direction. “The biggest advantage of a 2+1 road is that oncoming traffic flows are separated, thus, eliminating one of the biggest risks, which is head-on collisions. Experience of foreign countries shows that the construction of 2+1 road results in a significant reduction of fatal traffic accidents”, the Director of the Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications Mr Vitalijus Andrejevas said, noting that it is the first road section of this kind in Lithuania.
The total project value is 44,6 MEUR. Works are financed from the funds of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Lithuanian budgetary means.
It is planned to complete the reconstruction of Nausodė viaduct on road A9 Panevėžys–Šiauliai during the third additional stage, which includes the reconstruction of the 11.015-km-long grade-separated intersection of Panevėžys bypass (A17) and repair of road Panevėžys–Šiauliai section from 5.0 to 6.05 km. Works at the total value of 3.8 MEUR will be completed in 2020.
Currently, major upgrading works are being carried out on Via Baltica. At the end of 2018, widening of the motorway section between Kaunas and Marijampolė up to four lanes was completed to meet motorway standards. Preparatory works are underway for further reconstruction of Via Baltica section from Marijampolė up to the Lithuanian-Polish border.
The Via Baltica’s total length is 274 km, and it has the status of a project of exceptional significance to the state in Lithuania.