индекс симферополя - Статьи
How much are our potholes? The Day Weekly Digest
Driving on Ukrainian motor roads and highways is easier said than done. In some places the road is a mass of potholes, ruts, and cracked asphalt. Here driving is especially difficult and sometimes you have to stick to 20 km/hr.
In a word, our motor roads are badly in need of repair, and I mean quick and quality repair, for the way they patch up our roads can hardly be described as repair. These patches last for a day and then new potholes appear. Ukravtodor admits that this kind of repair is inefficient, but without it our roads would have long ago become impassable. Why are our roads in such a lamentable condition? Ukravtodor officials explain it by the lack of funds and an especially vicious winter.
Says Vadym Hurzhos, head of the Ukravtodor: Last year the central budget was to allocate 14 billion hryvnias for road repairs and renovation, but because of the financial crisis we received only half the sum. Part of this money was spent to pay on international loans we received in 2008. This years budget appropriations amount to 10 billion hryvnias, including 3.7 billion for road renovation and five billion for major repairs. After this winter 70 percent of our roads, totaling 170,000 km, need major repairs. Repairing one kilometer of highway costs an average of 500,000, so such repairs require mind-boggling funds. We dont have enough budget money, so we use foreign funds. We have already received more than three billion hryvnias worth of loans from international financial organizations.
Ukravtodor promises to start with expressways as part of preparations for Euro-2012. When the weather gets warmer, repairs will begin on the highway between Boryspil and Lubny (some 126 km). Repairs are underway on the Kyiv-Chop highway, being financed jointly with the European Investment Bank. This project is tentatively estimated at 400 million. Works started in 2007 and are scheduled to be completed before the end of 2010.
Over the years of independence we havent had a single opportunity of doing major road repairs. The roads, like motor vehicles, need maintenance, routine repairs every five years, and major repairs every 12 years. We are way behind this schedule. The scope of repairs has markedly narrowed in the past decade for want of funds, so our roads are in a state of physical deterioration, continues Hurzhos.
Ukravtodor promises to start patching up the roads once the state budget has been adopted and the weather improves. Such repairs will be completed on expressways before May and on local motor roads before June. Vadym Hurzhos reassures the Ukrainian drivers that other countries have the same problems. Germany also lacks funds for road repairs after the winter, so they found an interesting solution to this problem. They offer residents to pay 50 for a pothole and in return to impress the payers name on the asphalt (one is reminded of Hollywood Stars Alley). If we followed suit in Ukraine, our potholes would sell considerably cheaper, 200 hryvnias apiece. The big question is who would be willing to buy them. In Kharkiv, 2,000 motorists declared they wont pay the transport tax until the roads are made adequate.
The Ukrainian capital city is not different from the regions in terms of quality of motor roads. Here 85 percent of roads are in a state of disrepair. The mayors office promised to allocate 101 million hryvnias, but this money will suffice for only 60 percent (with the total area amounting to 1,335,000 square meters), says Kyivavtodors chief engineer Vasyl Melnychenko. Despite meager funds, Kyivavtodor promises to patch up all of the citys potholes before the end of May. In addition, this corporation plans to replace the upper layer of the road carpet on Kyivs main highways.
The Day s correspondents studied the road condition and repair schedules in the regions.
CRIMEA: NOT READY FOR SUMMER
Most motor roads in the Crimea are actually expressways. Some of them are excellent, like the one leading to Simferopol Airport or part of the Kharkiv-Yalta highway. But there are also terrible roads in some urban areas, in the mountains, and between raions. Road construction experts are sure that the reason behind the low quality of Ukrainian highways is that in their construction world technologies were not followed to begin with, so they deteriorate much quicker and demand heavy funding. For example, by international standards the road carpet should be multilayered. On German autobahns it is 80-120 cm thick. In Ukraine it is half, one-third, or even one-fourth of that. The new Kyiv-Odesa expressway, although not all of it, is the only one that meets these standards. Kyiv roads and approach roads are comparatively good, whereas in other regions they are horrible because they were built using obsolete Soviet technologies.