The General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways beats records – during one year it spent more money on investments than ever before. In the current year, expenditures of the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways will be realised at the level of PLN 26.4 billion. What is also impressive is the usage of the EU funds – by December PLN 10 billion have been reimbursed.
In accordance with previous plans 267.7 km of new freeways (motorways: 205.5 km, express roads: 62.2 km) have been opened for use. Due to over 200 km of motorways opened for use this year, there is a total of 1100 km of motorways in Poland. Two sections of motorways opened for use this year were constructed in a Public-Private Partnership. Grudziądz-Toruń section (62km) of the A1 motorway was constructed by Gdańsk Transport Company (GTC), while Nowy Tomyśl-Świecko section (105.9 km) of the A2 motorway – by Autostrada Wielkopolska S.A.
We have managed to break the impasse of the construction of sections A and C of the A2 motorway Stryków-Konotopa. At present, construction works there are conducted 24/7, and the unusual speed of works will allow for connecting Warsaw with Western Europe in seven months time. Additionally, this year an over 8-km long section of the A1 motorway Gliwice-Maciejów and the ring road of Kocko and Wola Skromowska (7.9 km) within the S19 road chain will be opened for use.
At the same time, modernisation works are being conducted to improve traffic safety on the existing road network. This year, expenditures pertaining to infrastructure management amounted to PLN 1,859.9 million. Moreover, in compliance with Directive 2008/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on road infrastructure safety management, projects of national roads underwent the procedure of BRD Assessment and Audit.
It took only 8 months to create and implement the Electronic System of Toll Collection, which from July supports the National Road Fund in the amount compliant with the assumptions. Only within the first five months after the system introduction, incomes of the National Road Fund amounted to PLN 345 million. This sum is augmented by lost benefits of the State Treasury compensated by the system contractor, Kapsch company. The lost benefits resulting from the initial system leakiness will be levelled out, after a comparison of incomes from the first three months of the system operation with the following months in which the system was sealed. Money obtained by ViaTOLL are spent on the construction and modernisation of roads. Incomes are also brought by rest areas. There are 48 of them along motorways and 8 of them along express roads. In 2011 rest areas situated along motorways have brought PLN 100,340,851.5 of income, additional PLN 980,000.00 comes from incomes brought by rest areas situated along express roads.
Although the year 2011 was an exceptional one, it was impossible to avoid some problems. One of them was a temporary multiple calculation of tolls for some users of the ViaTOLL system. The error occurred during the initial period of the system functioning. As a result of an erroneously calculated toll, about 87,000 (approximately 13%) system users were asked to pay augmented tolls in the amount of PLN 5,051,356.34. The contractor gave back the users the erroneously collected tolls together with interests (PLN 80,823.63).
Additionally, the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways obliged the contractor to cooperate with the Main Inspectorate of Road Transport, so that users are not given administrative fines, and in the case of fines already imposed – so that they are revoked by the Main Inspectorate of Road Transport. Currently, the system works properly, and its functioning is systematically controlled. According to the state as for the beginning of December, the number of vehicles registered in the system exceeds 640 thousand, and the number of operations that take place every day – 1.1 million.
As a result of the financial crisis, funds to be spent on the accomplishment of new investments within the National Road Construction Programme have been limited – in February 2011 it was necessary to invalidate 15 tender procedures, including 12 tenders for works and 3 tenders for work supervision, as well as to terminate one contract for supervision. Among procedures for roadworks there were for example investments at the sections: A18 Olszyna-Golnice (south roadway) of the total length of 70 km, S7 Gdańsk-Elbląg section Koszwały-Elbląg 41.5 km, S7 Jędrzejów-border of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship over 20 km.
As a result, in 2011 planned contracts for the construction of 226.4 km of roads, including 70.9 km of motorways and 155.5 km of express roads, have not been concluded. Out of these 24.5 km are reconstructions and modernisations.
It is already known that by June 2012 - that is by the beginning of the Euro Championships - it will be impossible to provide a full suitability for driving of the A1 motorway at the section Kowal-Czerniewice and the A4 motorway at the sections Tarnów-Korczowa and Bochnia-Wierzchosławice. The threat of the lack of full suitability for driving occurs also at the A1 sections Kowal-Stryków, Świerklany-Gorzyczki and the A4 section Wierzchosławice-Krzyż. The remaining sections are being accomplished in accordance with the schedule.
The EU funds
The General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways efficiently uses the EU funds – in this respect we are a leader, the biggest beneficiary of the EU programmes in Poland. Out of EUR 10.1 billion given to the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways for investments in the years 2007-2013, contracts have been concluded to spend approximately 95% of the funds. Since 1st January 2007, the European Commission has given us approximately PLN 12.2 billion for the accomplished investments. We assume that by the end of 2011, the use of the EU funds will reach the level of PLN 18 billion (refunding from the EC).
By December 2011, the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways has submitted application forms for co-financing within the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment for the sum of over PLN 71 billion. The sum, for which 38 contracts for co-financing within the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment, amounts to over PLN 60 billion. The European Commission has already refunded over PLN 12.2 billion – 30.5% of all planned incomes of the state budget coming from refunds of projects accomplished by the General Directorate of National Road and Motorways. Applications for co-financing that are to be submitted by 10th September 2011 will ensure spending over 70% of funds from the EU funds for the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways. The refund plan for 2012 assumes achievement of the level of approximately PLN 10.5 billion.
Investments being accomplished
Currently, 1323 km of national roads are being constructed or modernized. 580 km of motorways, 743 km of express roads and ring roads are under construction. Within the National Road Construction Programme for the years 2011-2015, 615 km of the existing road network is modernized. 28 sections of motorways (for example A1, A2, A4), 43 sections of express roads (for example S1, S2, S3, S5, S6, S7, S8, S11, S14, S17, S19, S69, S74), and 12 ring roads (for example of Mięków DK3; of Jarosław DK4; of Łęknica on DK12; of Żyrardów on DK50; of Opoczno on DK 12; of Pabianice DK14; of Olecko DK65; of Jędrzejów on DK78; of Ełk along DK16 and DK65; of Frampol on DK74; of Hrubieszów DK74; of Leżajsk on DK77) are being constructed.
In 2011 contracts for the construction of the following have been concluded:
The gross value of investments for which the contracts have been concluded amounts to PLN 8,048,987,228.04.
Currently, 15 tender procedures for construction works for investments within the National Road Construction Programme 2011-2015, both from Annex 1 and 1a, are being processed.
Recently – on 6th December 2011 – a tender for modernization of the S-8 road between Powązkowska and Modlińska junctions together with modernization of Grota-Roweckiego Bridge was put out. On the same day, the tender procedure for the construction of an almost 67-km long section of the S17 express road from Sielce near Kurów junction to the ring road of Piask was completed. Due to the contract concluded, it will be possible to commence the construction of the ring road of Lublin.
The complex technical supervision over the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways investments is systematically put into practice. The main objective is the accomplishment of tasks with due diligence with reference to the highest quality and observing the deadlines. The laboratory system of quality management, introduced in 2010, brings positive results – the number of outcomes non-compliant with the requirements decreased from 39% to only 16% despite the fact that the number of tests conducted each month increased almost twenty-fold – from 240 to 6600. In 2011, the General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways created a model Functional-Utility Program and began the process of road laboratories accreditation. In 2011 we also commenced works on Model Technical Specifications concerning the construction of roads and bridges.
Among the tasks to which there was the greatest number of quality reservations, one has to mention:
A-2 Motorway Ring Road of Mińsk Mazowiecki
S-7 South Ring Road of Gdańsk
On the other hand, the smallest number of reservations referred to:
S-69 South-East Ring Road of Bielsko-Biała
A-1 Stryków junction
S-7 Ring Road of Kielce
Cooperation with contractors
Working negotiations with representatives of the National Commerce Chamber of Civil Engineering, the National Union of Civil Engineering Employers, and Lewiatan are being conducted. Negotiations have to do with changes in contracts for roadworks, taking into consideration experiences from the last three years. What is meant here is for example the renewed payment for materials, resignation from fines for the mile stone if the contract is completed on time, or the possibility to introduce advance payments for contracts. Some of these postulates are already applicable in new contracts.
Management of the existing road network
This year expenditures pertaining to the infrastructure management amounted to PLN 1,859.9 million.
The improvement of safety on the existing road network was accomplished by means of:
In 2011, in compliance with Directive 2008/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on road infrastructure safety management, projects of national roads underwent the procedure of BRD Assessment and Audit.
The total number of BRD Assessments on national roads: 3
The total number of BRD Assessments on the TEN-T network: 2
The total number of BRD Audits on the national road network: 112
The number of BRD Audits on the TEN-T network: 59
In 2011 for the first time a maintenance model, the so-called “Keep the Standard,” was introduced on the national road no. 3 on the territory of West Pomeranian Voivodeship on 34.4 km. In 2012 it will be introduced on A4 and S19 in Podkarpackie Voivodeship, on A1 in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, on S8, A1, and A2 in Łódzkie Voivodeship, and on S8 and S2 in Masovian Voivodeship.
The General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways has concluded a contract with the Road and Bridge Research Institute for “Drafting a Complex Diagnostic System of Technical Condition of National Road Surface.”
The Institute will work out a methodology for the diagnosis of road surface condition, which will meet the requirements of modern road infrastructure management and respond to administrative prerequisites of national roads and motorways in Poland.