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Cohesion Fund Strategy

  1. Transport development strategy with regard to the cohesion fund
    Transport is an important part of economic and social infrastructure of the Republic of Lithuania having a direct effect on the economic growth of the country via local and foreign trade, tourism. It is determined to ensure transport infrastructure development on the grounds of the present state, i. e., present traffic needs and the objective to comply with the level of development of transport infrastructure of the EU.
    1. Review of the transport sector of the republic of Lithuania
      1. Railways
        The Lithuanian railway transport is the main national transport branch used for the long-distance transportation of passengers and freight. Annual transportation amounts to approximately 30 million tons of freight and approximately 8 million of passengers.

        Freight and passenger transportation by railways during the period of 1995-2002
         

          1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
        Freight in million tons 26.0 29.1 30.5 30.9 28.3 30.7 29.2 36.7
        of which domestic transportation 3.8 4.0 4.7 6.0 4.6 4.7 6.3 6.5
        of which international transportation 22.2 25.1 25.8 24.9 23.7 26.0 22.9 30.2
        Passengers in million 15.2 14.2 12.6 12.2 11.5 8.9 7.7 7.2*
        of which domestic transportation 13.1 12.2 10.6 10.5 10.0 7.4 6.3 -
        of which international transportation 2.1 2.0 2.0 1.7 1.5 1.5 1.4 -

        *- data of 2003.01.01
        After the period of continuous decrease of freight flows, which lasted several years and was caused by significant decline of heavy industry in Russia and other countries of CIS (they are the main freight suppliers), since 1995 freight transportation started to increase and in 2002 reached the highest level amounting to 36.7 million tons during the latest decade. This was stipulated by development of an effective transit system, rapid growth of trade with EU countries and gradual modernisation of railways.
        There is a tendency of gradual decrease of passenger transportation from the beginning of independency, while international passenger transportation remains stable. This decrease is caused by a considerable decline in volumes of domestic transportation. The increasing number of private vehicles among Lithuanian population is the main reason for the decreased demand of public transport services. Absolute majority, more than 80 percent, of freight and passenger transportation by railways is achieved via the Corridors I and IX. The remaining part of freight and passenger transportation is achieved by means of the other railway lines.
        The railway network of Lithuania consists of two different gauge railways:

        1) 1520 mm gauge - 1674.0 km

        2) 1435 mm gauge - 21.8 km

        Operational length of all the lines is 1695.8 km, out of which:

        1) Double-track - 529.9 km

        2) Electrified - 122.0 km

        Lithuanian railway lines can be divided into three groups according to their importance:

        1) Main, (Transport Corridors I and IX)

        2) Auxiliary;

        3) Other.

        Design speed on main railway lines:

        1)   For passenger trains - 120 m/h

        2)   For freight trains – 100 km/h.

        The speed of trains on separate sections is limited to 40 km/h for traffic safety reasons due to bad state of infrastructure (delayed planned overhaul, telecommunications, signalling and power supply equipment over 30 years old).  There are such sections on both Railway Transport Corridors I and IX.

        As the present technical level of infrastructure of Lithuanian railways of TINA network does not comply with requirements of AGC and AGTC agreements applied to railways infrastructure of the European Union, the main objective of this strategy is to continue modernisation of TINA network railways infrastructure according to requirements of AGC and AGTC agreements using Cohesion Fund.

      2. Roads
        The total length of Lithuanian roads network amounts to about 70 thousand kilometres. According to the Law on Roads of the Republic of Lithuania , roads are divided into state roads and local roads. The most important roads of Lithuania are state roads, for which Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible. The density of Lithuanian state roads network was 326 km per 1000 square km at the beginning of the year 2001. 56.2% of state roads are paved with asphalt. Infrastructure of Lithuanian state roads network is presented in the following table:

        Type of pavement

        Length (km)

        Total
         

        Main

        Local

        Regional

        Total

        Asphalt 1 639.36 4 782.55 5 558.46 11 980.37
        Cement 84.55 - 1.4 85.95
        Gravel - 78.04 9 148.35 9 226.39
        Cobble 0.20 3.58 19.16 22.94
        In total: 1 724.11 4 864.17 14 727.37 21 315.65

        There are 521 km of roads with four traffic lanes in Lithuania , out of which – 417 km of highways. There are 1535 bridges on Lithuanian state roads.    

        Due to increased international traffic and axle load, it is necessary to continue developing the network of state roads by constructing new by-passes, increasing the number of traffic lanes, implementing environmental and traffic safety measures. The network of Lithuanian roads is rather dense; however, according to density of network of roads with improved pavement (asphalt and cement), Lithuania lags behind countries of Western Europe and also many countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Lithuania is a transit country; therefore, it is very important that Lithuanian roads are attractive for international transport.

      3. Water Transport

        Klaipeda sea port – an ice-free Baltic port – is the main multimodal node of branch IXB of international Corridor IX enabling combined freight transportation in the West – East direction. Ferries regularly go from international ferry terminal, i.e., ro-ro passenger and freight ships terminal, to Germany , Denmark , Sweden and other countries. Various freight is reloaded in Klaipeda port, there are terminals for containers (capacity – 150 TEU per year), oil, liquid fertilizers, powdery and packed products. There are shipment companies, which are able to reload more than 20 million tons of freight per year.  More than 70% of freight is transit. The port is capable to accept ships up to 200 m of length and up to 11 m of width.

        Following TINA programme, port entry is under intensive reconstruction (over 227 million Litas) – piers are prolonged, port waters are deepened to 14 m, and also quays are constructed and reconstructed. After reconstruction, Klaipeda sea port will be able to accept trans-Atlantic ships from 60 to 70 thousand tonnes. It is necessary to carry out reconstruction and modernisation of worn out port and railway infrastructure.

        There are 902.3 km of inland waterways in Lithuania, freight and passengers are transported using 476.7 km out of them. Inland waterway routes E41 and E70 determined by the United Nations are assigned to inland waterway by the NemunasRiver, Kaunas – Klaipėda (278.3 km) and waterway by CuronianBay, which connect Kaunas via Klaipėda sea port with international routes, and via the Kaliningrad District (Russia) – with inland waterways system of the Western Europe.

      4. Air Transport

        There are four operating international airports in Lithuania – Vilnius, Kaunas, Palanga, and Siauliai airports, the first three ones out of which are determined as elements of the TEN-T network in Lithuania. Vilnius airport has a runway of 2500 x 50 m, modern navigation system is used for management of flights. International Vilnius airport complies with requirements of category I of international civil aviation (ICAO). The capacity of the airport is to serve 100 airplanes per day, about 600 passengers per hour. More than 600 thousand passengers were transported via Vilnius airport in the year 2002.

        Kaunas airport is close to multimodal Transport Corridors I, IXB, and IXD – it serves as an ideal centre for combined transportation of freight. Its technical advantages are: a runway of 3250 m of length, enabling to accept all the planes without restriction; well-developed infrastructure of freight service and distribution system, enabling the company to increase its share of air freight market every year. In the year 2002, the flow of freight transported via Kaunas airport exceeded 10 thousand tons.

        International Palanga airport serves holidaymakers and businessmen going to the seashore of Lithuania . The role of Palanga airport increases with the rapid growth of industrial potential of Klaipeda region. After the renovation of the runway (2000 x 40 m), apron, passenger terminal, having implemented the new modern air navigation system, the airport can safely serve airplanes carrying freight of middle and small class and passengers. Palanga airport serves more than 50 thousand passengers per year. 

    2. Long-term objectives of Lithuanian transport sector

      The highest influence on the development of Lithuanian transport sector will be made by integration to the European Union and by opportunities to enter the new markets, by support from Cohesion Fund and other funds of the EU and participation in development projects of transport sector of common interest as well as growth of possibilities of and needs for mobility of citizens. Meanwhile, the factor that is most difficult to forecast is the estimation of growth of transit services needs because Russian (long-term) policy perspective with regard to ports of the Baltic countries is hardly predictable.

      It is planned to start implementation of multimodal (intermodal) transport development programme, which is very important for modernisation of the Lithuanian transport sector. Despite the fact that Lithuanian transport infrastructure on the main transport corridors is presently developed according to multimodal approach, i.e., development of railways and roads infrastructure is associated with development of Klaipeda port infrastructure, it is necessary to prepare and start implementing significantly broader concept of multimodal transport. When preparing the programme, European Parliament and Council Decision 1692/66/EC on Amendments to Guidelines on TEN-T Development, which are prepared and are planned to implement since 2003, will be considered. According to these Guidelines, seaports and river ports, short sea shipping lines, and intermodal transport nodes will be tried to incorporate in TEN-T while developing it, and effective interface between different modes of transport will be ensured.

      In parallel with multimodal transport development aspect, modal transport development aspect also remains important. Therefore, the most important objectives and directions of long-term development of separate transport modes are determined as well.

      1. Railways

        Main Long-term development objectives for railway transport:

        1) to prepare legal base and to establish institutions of market regulation, which are necessary for integration of Lithuania in the European Union;

        2) to integrate Lithuanian railways networks in TEN-T network, ensuring their technical compliance with European standards;

        3) to carry out restructuring of the railways enterprise and, afterwards, to carry out partial privatization;

        4) to establish a strong and effective traffic safety control system;

        5) to create a uniform environment protection system in the railways sector, which would cover all possible sources (air, water, soil) of pollution.

      2. Roads

        Main long-term development objectives for road transport:

        1) to integrate Lithuanian road transport network in European road transport system with regard to technical – technological and legal aspects, using favourable geographical position of the country and increasing capacities and role of Lithuanian transport companies in the international road transport services market;

        2) to develop road network of the Republic so that, according to its development and technical parameters, it complies with rational dislocation of capacities and to the accepted development of branches of economy and subjects in separate regions;

        3) to ensure traffic safety and environmental measures complying with requirements of the EU.

      3. Water Transport

        Long-term development directions for water transport:

        The main objective of long-term development of water transport – to increase transit possibilities of Lithuania and competitiveness of Klaipeda sea port in the Baltic sea region, when carrying out sustainable development of multimodal transport – to include development of lines connecting Klaipeda state sea port with other ports of Europe, and to promote short sea shipping taking part in establishment of trans-European navigation network. Navigation is a strategically important part of Lithuanian water transport sector.

        The main objectives of navigation strategy are:

        1)  to ensure implementation of safe shipping requirements and fair competition;

        2)  to develop navigation markets and to increase the influence of Lithuanian navigation enterprises in international navigation;

        3)  to promote competitiveness of navigation sector;

        4)  to strengthen the status of Lithuania as sea state.

      4. Air Transport

        Long-term development objectives for air transport:

        It is planned to develop international airports on the basis of present and planned in future number of flights and routes. Investment measures are foreseen, which would enable increasing the categories of “meteorological minimum” and would ensure flight safety, i.e.:

        1) to establish air transport system and infrastructure of high quality and integrated with other systems as well as adapted for transit;

        2) to establish legal system ensuring flight safety and regulating the activity of aviation, harmonized with legal acts, standards and recommended practice systems of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), European Joint Aviation Administration (JAA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International airports Council (ACI), and European Safe Air Navigation Organization (EUROCONTROL). 

    3. Implementation of long-term objectives using the cohesion fund and other EU financial instruments

      Transport network is a very important impulsive force for the development of the EU common market. Therefore, improvement and modernisation of transport infrastructure is one of the key measures ensuring growth of economy while drafting (the National) Economic Development Strategies and Programmes both for the entire European Community and individual EU countries. Decision No. 1692/96/EC of the EU Council and Parliament on the Community Guidelines for the Development of trans-European network encourage EU Member States to implement projects of common interest in order to integrate land, water and air transport infrastructure networks within the territory of the European Union based on common technical and organisational requirements.

      The principles of transport development policy of the European Community, in order to achieve the objectives envisaged, are the following:

      1)  to contribute to the establishment and development of trans-European networks in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructures;

      2)  to promote the interconnection and interoperability of national networks as well as access to such networks;

      3)  to establish a series of guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures envisaged in the sphere of trans-European networks; these guidelines shall identify projects of common interest;

      4)  to implement any measures that may prove necessary to ensure the interoperability of the networks, in particular in the field of technical standardization;

      5)  to support financial efforts made by the Member States for projects of common interest financed by Member States, also may contribute through the Cohesion Fund to the financing of specific projects in Member-States in the area of transport infrastructure.

      Member States shall, in liaison with the Commission, co-ordinate among themselves the transport development policies pursued at national level, which may have a significant impact on the achievement of the above mentioned objectives.

      1. Transport Sector Development Financing Sources

        Investment in the Lithuanian transport sector is mostly used for improvement of the existing infrastructure, to serve the growing local and international passenger and freight flows, in order to comply with international standards.

        In 2004-2006, the transport sector is expected to be financed from a number of different EU support funds; therefore, the following table presents information which areas of the transport sector are planned to be financed from which funds.

        Table 3. Transport Sector Areas and Support Sources, 2004-2006

          Infrastructure of international significance Infrastructure of local significance
        Cohesion Fund State roads (TINA network) Main railway lines (TINA network) Connections of IX transport corridor with the seaport(over 10 million EUR projects) International airports (over 10 million EUR projects)      
        Development of border crossing points on the external EU border
        European Regional Development Fund(ERDF)

        Connections of road transport infrastructure with elements of the TINA network

        Railway connections with elements of the TINA network; passenger terminals Multi-modal transport, logistics centres transport infrastructure and road and railway network of the Klaipėda seaport. International airports and their passenger terminals Roads of regional and local significance; railway crossings; cycling, pedestrian paths Urban transport infrastructure and public transport Urban transport infrastructure and public transport
        European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund(EAGGF)         Roads of local significance in agriculture    
        Interreg Transport network in border areas (connections with the TINA network)        

        The main investment from Cohesion Fund will be associated with modernisation and reconstruction of Trans-European Transport Corridors I, IA, IXB, D and transport nodes and links associated with them (future TEN-T network). It should be noted that this investment will be used for improvement of the existing infrastructure and for approximation of service for the growing flows of passengers and freight to the international standards. It is planned to construct new infrastructure only in exceptional cases, for example, in order to increase the competitiveness of Lithuanian railways.

        Priority will be given to such projects that are prepared for immediate implementation and which correspond to common interests of the society, the criteria determined in the Guidelines of the EC Council for Trans-European Network (TEN-T) 1692/96 and which will contribute a lot to the improvement of communications with regard to the use of transport infrastructure presently and in future, also which will be technically and economically viable and long-term.

        The support from Structural funds will give a possibility to encourage regional social and economic development by reducing unevenness of development at the level of regions of the country. It is foreseen to implement investment projects using ERDF funds, which will help to ensure good access to Trans-European corridors, to improve communication of regions with centres of industry, business and tourism, to manage traffic in the cities, to reduce traffic jam, to modernise transport infrastructure so that it satisfies the needs for development of tourism and small and medium business. As it can be clearly seen, the main financing sources for transport sector development are EU Cohesion fund and structural funds. More detailed information about measures to be financed from structural funds is given in Annex 2.

      2. Criteria for Selection of Projects

        Maturity of projects is the main factor, according to which they are selected for financing from Cohesion fund. Funds are allotted for reconstruction and modernisation of Crete – Helsinki Transport Corridors. Selection of specific projects is based on objectives and commitments of Cohesion Fund and its official requirements, which are set forth in Cohesion Fund Regulation.

        The priority of a project depends on whether it:

        1) complies with guidelines presented in EC Parliament and Council Decision 1692/96/EC on forming TEN-T  and with the policy on transport and Trans-European networks of the EU;

        2) complies with technical standards for transport infrastructure set forth in recommendations of European Economic Committee of the United Nations (UN/ECE/Trans/WP.5/R.60/);

        3) is a measure, by which it is intended to coordinate the interaction among national networks and connections with Trans-European networks as well as accessibility to such networks;

        4) is a project of common interest and is  included in TINA network;

        5)  has a medium-term economic and social effect for the country and corresponds to priorities determined by this country and purpose of financial sources used;

        6)  meant for ensuring of intermodality and accessibility, for development of safe and environment-friendly transport;

        7)  is a measure for construction of missing links with regard to integrity of infrastructure and organizational aspects (encouraging and development of multimodal transport).

        In order to ensure high quality of implementation of investment projects, infrastructure facilities are constructed or reconstructed keeping to the principles of multimodality (combined transportation), traffic safety, improvement of quality of services, increasing speed and interoperability. Environmental aspects and possibilities to reorganize the distribution of transport modes by shifting freight glows from road to railway transport are considered.

        In general, principles and objectives of the Cohesion Fund remain the same – assurance of the balanced transport development and establishment of modern multi-modal transport system, effective interaction of which with transport systems of neighbouring countries would enable to ensure convenient access to the major business, cultural and tourism centres of Europe with minimum time expenditure.

    4. Directions for use of cohesion fund in the transport sector during the years 2004 - 2006

      It is planned to use the Cohesion Fund for implementation of international transport corridors infrastructure projects, following the priorities determined in the Decision of European Parliament and Council No. 1692/96/EC (Article 5) for the development of transport networks, namely:

      1) establishment and development of the connections, key links and interconnections needed to eliminate bottlenecks, fill in missing sections and complete major routes;

      2) establishment and development of infrastructure for access to the network, making it possible to link island, landlocked and peripheral regions with the central regions of the Community;

      3) the optimum combination and integration of the various modes of transport;

      4) integration of environmental concerns into the design and development of the network;

      5) gradual achievement of interoperability of network components;

      6) optimization of the capacity and efficiency of existing infrastructure;

      7) establishment of and improvement in interconnection points and intermodal platforms;

      8) improved safety and network reliability;

      9) the development and establishment of systems for the management and control of network traffic and user information with a view to optimizing use of the infrastructures;

      10) studies contributing to improved design and better implementation of the trans-European transport network.

      The priority measures in railway transport are:

      1) modernisation of the main railway infrastructure in the North – South direction (Transport Corridor I, Rail Baltica), increasing capacity and constructing a missing European Gauge railway link from Lithuanian/Polish state border to the intersection of Transport Corridors I and IX (complying with AGC and AGTC standards);

      2) reconstruction of branch IXB of Transport Corridor IX, ensuring connection with Klaipėda, the capital Vilnius and going towards the state border with Byelorussia, improving the existing railway infrastructure; establishment of intermodal transport infrastructure, in order to shift part of traffic flow from road transport to railways;

      3) modernisation of branch IXD to Kaliningrad District of Corridor IX, improvement of the existing infrastructure in order to ensure capacity for increasing freight flows and adequate passenger transportation speed;

      4) modernisation of data transfer and traffic management system, ensuring its consistency with such systems of neighbouring countries;

      5) modernisation of port and railways interface on transport corridor IX.

      Measures planned in roads sector:

      1) increasing capacity on Via Baltica Road (Transport Corridor I) of the North-South direction;

      2) construction of main roads included in TINA network as well as missing links in North – South and East – West directions;

      3) strengthening of pavement on highway Klaipėda – Vilnius (IXB branch of Corridor IX);

      4) improvement of traffic conditions and construction of missing links (including by-passes of the main cities).

      The main measures of development of water transport:

      1) reconstruction of the port entrance, deepening of entrance canal and internal port waters to 14 meters;

      2) construction of passenger ferry terminal;

      3) construction of cruise ships terminal;

      4) preparation of development schemes and projects for railway access roads and stations (with relationship to plans for development and modernisation of the port);

      5) preparation of infrastructure and superstructure of Klaipeda port for ships of new (PANAMAX) type and for application of new technologies;

      6) development of missing links with Transport Corridor IX by development of sea motorways.

      The planned priority measures for international airports:

      1) while improving flight safety, to change the instrumental landing system ILS by a new one in Palanga airport and old lighting systems of runways by new ones of high intensity in Kaunas and Palanga airports;

      2) in order to implement programmes of environmental requirements and of reduction of impact of noise raised by aircraft on human health, to implement the first stage of establishment of noise measuring system in the Lithuanian international airports;

      3) to prepare strategy for implementation of new air traffic management concepts and technical measures: air traffic management concept CNS/ATM; global navigation satellite system (GNSS);

      4) to lengthen the runway of Vilnius airport to 3 km of length and to change the instrumental landing system ILS by a new one until the year 2005;

      5) to widen and lengthen the runway of Palanga airport to 2.5 km of length;

      6) in order to improve passenger service and competitiveness of the airport, to construct a new terminal complying with EU standards in Vilnius international airport.

      When developing the multimodal transport in Lithuania, a very important element is the establishment of infrastructure of logistic centres and integration of them in the network of logistic centres, which is presently under preparation in continental Europe including the Baltic Sea region. It is planned to establish the logistic centres first of all in Kaunas, in order to use effectively the advantage of this region – intersection of international transport corridors I and IX, and also in Klaipeda, by using widely the possibilities of the seaport. Vilnius logistic centre should also be perspective, the goal of which would be to serve Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania

      1. Railways

        For the purpose of achieving the objectives determined for the years 2004 – 2006 of development of the Lithuanian railway transport infrastructure, a special program for development of Lithuanian railways infrastructure for the years 2004 – 2006 was prepared. The implementation of this program consists of two main tasks:

        1)  development of railway infrastructure of the Corridor I according to the EU standards determined in AGC and AGTC agreements;

        2)  development of railway infrastructure of the Corridor IX according to the EU standards determined in AGC and AGTC agreements.

        It is planned in the Railway infrastructure development programme for the years  2004 – 2006 to continue the implementation of projects associated with the future TEN-T railway network, which have been started earlier, and to begin new investment projects in modernisation of the main railway lines to the speed of 160 km/h.

        Modernisation of Telecommunications

        In order to achieve more effective and safer traffic management for higher design speed – from 120 km/h to 160 km/h, it is planned to essentially modernise the old telecommunications equipment on sections Kaisiadorys – Kybartai, state border with Poland – Sestokai – Kazlu Ruda, Palemonas – Gaiziunai, Siauliai – Joniskis – state border with Latvia of railway transport corridors.

        Track renewal for design speed of 160 km/h

        While implementing modernisation of infrastructure of railway line of international importance Kena – Vilnius – Kaunas – Kybartai according to the standards of AGC and AGTC agreements, it is planned to reconstruct the upper structure of the line Vilnius – Kaunas , strengthening it for the design speed of 120 km/h – 160 km/h.

        Modernisation of signalling and power supply equipment

        In order to ensure traffic of higher design speed – from 120 km/h to 160 km/h – in the railway line of international importance Kena – Vilnius – Kaunas – Kybartai, it is planned to modernise the existing equipment of signalling and power supply systems during the years 2005 – 2010 according to the requirements of traffic safety.

        Construction of intersections

        In the course of modernisation of the railway line of international importance Kena – Vilnius – Kaunas – Kybartai, it is planned to construct 9 separate grade intersections according to the standards of AGC and AGTC agreements on the line Vilnius – Kaunas during the years 2004 – 2006.

        Modernisation of train radio system

        In order to achieve effective and safe traffic management for higher design speed – from 120 km/h to 160 km/h, it is planned to install the necessary radio equipment of high frequency on railway corridors.

        Modernisation of Hot Axle Box Detection Equipment

        In order to ensure the traffic of higher design speed – from 120 km/h to 160 km/h – on Railway Corridors, it is planned for the reasons of traffic safety to modernise the existing and to install the necessary additional Hot Axle Box Detection equipment.

        Construction ofEuropean Gauge Railway Rail Baltica (Ist stage)

        After accession of Lithuania to the EU, for the purpose of satisfaction of the demand of direct and comfortable communication by railway between the Baltic countries and other countries of the European Union, it is planned to commence the construction of railway line of 1435 mm-gauge from the Polish/Lithuanian state border to the intersection of Railway Corridors I and IX and establishment of intermodal transport node since the year 2006.

        Rehabilitation of Kaunas Tunnel

        In order to ensure effective and safe traffic on Pan-European railway corridors, it is planned for the reasons of traffic safety to renovate completely the infrastructure of Kaunas tunnel and to modernise the existing communication networks.

        Modernisation of Port and Railway Interface

        After the increase in the shipment capacity of Klaipėda port and the traffic flows to/from the port, the tracks of railway stations and access tracks to the port must comply with the requirements for safe transportation of freight. About 76 percent of all cargo is presently carried to and from the port by railway.

        Having implemented these projects, Lithuanian railway infrastructure will be fully compliant with the EU standards. This will allow the railway transport system to integrate in the common railway system of the EU countries successfully and to contribute to strengthening of the internal market of the EU. Implementation of projects of this programme will help ensuring reliable and fast (up to 160 km/h) transportation by railways, increasing the axle load from 22.5 to 25 t. Prolonging of main tracks of the railway stations will enable the operation of rolling stock of 6000 t, significant reduction of travel time, and this will allow to solve the common transport problems by shifting part of freight and passengers from other transport modes as well as to reduce the negative impact of transport on environment.

      2. Roads

        Using the EU funds, it is planned to continue modernisation of the road Vilnius – Kaunas – Klaipeda , to strengthen pavement, to construct separate grade intersections, access roads to Corridor for local traffic on the branch IXB of the Corridor IX in East – West direction. It is planned to reconstruct the whole road Vilnius – Kaunas – Klaipeda according to the technical parameters of highway until 2015. Roadsides will be widened, separate grade intersections will be constructed, traffic flow crossings of one grade will be eliminated, sections via settlements of Grigiškes, Vievis and Elektrenai will be reconstructed, protective fencing and access roads as well as lighting and separate grade pedestrian crossings will be constructed on the approaches to Klaipėda . It is planned to strengthen about 410 km of asphalt pavement (calculating in one direction), to construct 10 intersections, 40 km of access roads. If the traffic grows further, three traffic lanes in each direction will be constructed in the section of Kaunas Northern by-pass at the end of the period. It is planned to reconstruct separate sections on Vilnius Southern by-pass, to construct the second traffic direction on certain sections, to construct separate grade intersections.

        Reconstruction of other transport corridors will be continued as well. The first stage of works on Transport Corridor I Warsaw – Kaunas – Riga – Tallin (Via Baltica) was completed in 2000. The whole road from Salociai border crossing point to Marijampole corresponds to the requirements for international roads. While implementing the programme of the second stage, Marijamole and Kalvarija by-passes were completed in 2002, the second traffic direction of Kaunas Western by-pass and 5 separate grade intersections are under construction. Having completed the second stage of works in 2003, Via Baltica road will satisfy the transportation demands in Lithuania in the short run. It is planned to strengthen pavement and to build separate grade intersections in certain road sections until the year 2010. At the end of the period, it is planned to reconstruct the section Garliava – Marijampole into highway.

        It is planned to reconstruct the road Marijampolė – Kybartai to the requirements of technical category AII on the Pan-European Corridor Branch IXD, widening the pavement to 9 meters. The reconstructed road will satisfy the requirements applied to international roads. It is planned to construct Virbalis and Kybartai by-pass until 2010.

        On Pan-European Transport Corridor IA Riga – Siauliai – Taurage – Kaliningrad, due to relatively low intensity of traffic, it is planned to strengthen pavement on many sections until the year 2010. After the year 2010, it is planned to construct Taurage by-pass.

        After the enlargement of the European Union, Poland and the Baltic countries will gradually adopt a dual role, i.e., they will function as constituent countries of the enlarged European Union as well as a connecting part with countries of CIS and Mediterranean region. Therefore, transport infrastructure networks of Poland and the Baltic countries and their development is important for growth of economy, competitiveness and employment of the countries of the European Union.

        Taking into consideration the dynamics of economic relations between Lithuania and Poland and the course of integration process to the European Union, it is planned to connect Vilnius to Via Baltica in the nearest future.

        On E-category roads, which belong to TEN-T network and together serve as access roads to international transport corridors, by-passes and separate grade intersections will be constructed, traffic safety measures will be implemented, pavement will be strengthened and widened. This will be carried out in order to ensure compliance with international standards for these roads. Much attention will be paid to environmental measures. Anti-noise walls will be constructed, forests and other territories where animals migrate will be fenced, culverts for animals will be constructed. These measures will help to avoid not only death of animals, but also injuries and death of people.

        In order to achieve integration in the EU and cooperation with countries of the European Union, it is necessary to quickly develop missing links of European importance crossing the city of Vilnius. These are Trans-European Transport Corridor IXB and its connection to TINA transport network. This international transport corridor, which has been started to construct more than ten years before, is still not completed and it does not give the effect expected in transit transport flows. The connection of this Trans-European corridor with the part of future TEN-T network in the direction of Riga is not implemented as well. The absence of these international roads causes transport and ecological problems in the city already now, and in future it may become one of the biggest problems of true integration.

        The implementation of investment projects of Western by-pass of Vilniusof 9 km and Southern by-pass of 3 km within the boundaries of Vilnius city would form the highways framework, fully connecting the existing network of the most important highways outside the city and ensuring new investment and benefit for the society and business. The estimated value of the project is 356.85 million Litas; it is planned to implement using co-financing from Cohesion Fund, Vilnius Municipality and the state.

      3. Water Transport

        When modernising infrastructure, it is necessary to develop the connection of multimodal transport corridor IXB with sea motorways through Klaipeda state seaport by managing transportation of freight to/from the port by new – Northern and Southern – Access roads to the port, by-passing the central part of the city. It is planned to implement Southern Access road to Klaipeda port project from Cohesion Fund, the preliminary value of which is 40 million Euro. Ro-ro and container loading using motor transport is concentrated in the Southern part. After the container terminal was built in 1999, the turnover of containers grows by 30 -38 percent every year, motor transport flow serving the Southern part of the port increases correspondingly.

        Having implemented the above mentioned project, there would be a short and comfortable transit corridor formed for freight traffic serving the Southern part of the port, by which heavy transport would be directed to domestic roads and Transport Corridor IXB. Simultaneously, the flow of heavy traffic in the central streets of the city would be reduced and traffic safety would increase in Klaipeda city.

        One of the priority investment programmes in the Klaipeda port planned to implement from Cohesion Fund is Programme of excavation of polluted ground, its cleaning and use. The value of this project amounts to 27.2 million Euro, and it is planned to implement during the years 2005 – 2008.

        Preliminary list of priority projects to be financed from Cohesion Fund during the years 2004 – 2006 is presented in the table (see Annex No. 4).

Last updated: 21-03-2021