- The beginning of reconstruction works of pedestrian and bicycle trails was announced in the Curonian Spit
The beginning of reconstruction works of pedestrian and bicycle trails was announced in the Curonian Spit
Today, on the 23rd of February, a capsule containing a letter for future generations was buried during the event marking the beginning of construction works of the pedestrian and bicycle trail Smiltynė-Nida, which symbolically marked the beginning of reconstruction works.
Works are initiated in the section from Smiltynė to Juodkrantė, in accordance with two agreements that entered into force for two sections of the trails: from 2.104 to 2.956 km and from 2.956 to 15.567 km.
A new trail of up to 3.5 in width will be laid down, which the special services will be able to use (currently, the width of the trail ranges between 2 to 2.5 m), it is envisaged to install rest stops. The solutions of the reconstructed sections were chosen in order to protect as much greenery and trees of the national park as possible. Having repaired the trail and making it wider, journey on this trail will become safer and more comfortable.
“I am glad that we are starting to implement our objective: to repair another wound of the country – the bicycle trail of Neringa, which has been neglected for many years. To paraphrase a popular Lithuanian saying: you must prepare for the warm season in winter”, the Minister of Transport Marius Skuodis said at the event.
According to Remigijus Lipkevičius, the Head of the Joint Stock Company Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the works in the two first sections, i. e., from Smiltynė to Juodkrantė, could have been initiated only after coordinating them with the State Enterprise Valstybinė miškų urėdija, the National Park of the Curonian Spit and other institutions. The works of construction of the trail will be performed in accordance with the requirements provided by all of the aforementioned institutions in order to have as little effect on the environment as possible.
“After the reconstruction, the bicycle trail of the Curonian Spit will be wider and safer, therefore we believe that the number of people travelling from Smiltynė to Nida using bicycles or other environmental friendly transport means will increase. The status of the national park obliges us to give more attention to environmental aspects while performing works. Therefore, we are carefully planning the logistics and resources of works, for reconstruction we will use the most advanced methods and measures, all decisions will be harmonised with the environment of the national park in order to avoid damaging the environment”, says Kęstutis Vanagas, the Head of the company “YIT Lietuva” that will perform the works.
It is envisaged to complete the trail construction up to Juodkrantė before July 2023. The total value of agreements is 5.8 million EUR including VAT. The other part of the trail from Juodkrantė to Preila is currently being designed. It is envisaged to announce the public tender for contract works in the middle of this year. It is envisaged to finish the remaining part in 2024.
The reconstructed sections of the trail match sections of international bicycle trails “Euro Velo 10” (Baltic Sea trail) and “Euro Velo 13” (Iron Curtain Trail).
The Road Administration was able to begin the works of designing of this trail only after the municipalities of Neringa and Klaipėda agreed to sign cooperation agreements and have obtained decisions of municipalities stating that after the completion of the trail, the aforementioned municipalities will acquire its ownership. After the trail is completed and transferred, the municipality of Klaipėda will own 850 meters, and the municipality of Neringa will own about 34 kilometres of the trail.
According to the data of the Centre of Register, the first section of this trail from Pervalka settlement to Pervalka beach was created in 1978. Later on, separate strips of the trail were created at different times. Currently, the total length of the trail Smiltynė – Nida is about 50 km. Since 2019, the majority (about 36 km from Smiltynė to Preila) belongs to the Joint Stock Company Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the remaining part belongs to the municipality of Neringa.