Latvia says partnership projects are key for future road development

By Mike Hayes02 March 2023

The Latvian government says it seeking opportunities to use public and private partnership (PPP) models on a range of major road infrastructure projects.

The Kekava bypass in Latvia is now under construction, as a PPP project. Photo: Latvian State Roads

This after the successful commencement of a PPP project for the €250 million Kekava bypass, which was largely made possible through investment from the European Investment Banks and the Nordic Investment Bank.

This week, Latvia’s minister of transport, Jānis Vitenbergs, and minister of finance, Arvils Ašeradens, visited the site where construction is underway on the bypass, which is the country’s first PPP infrastructure project.

The move could signal a shift in priorities for the government, which has recently focused largely on developments on the Rail Baltica network.

Following the site visit, Ašeradens said the Ķekava project was “a good example” as it demonstrated “a transparent process, good management and high quality standards in order to provide residents with necessary infrastructure”.

Door open to further projects

Vitenbergs said he believed PPP had “proven its worth” on the project, which is being undertaken by the private company Kekava ABT JSC, who will also maintain the road for 20 years.

“Now,” he said, “we can consider the Bauska bypass for this model. People have been waiting for it for a very long time.”

According to Latvian State Roads, the current Bauska (A7) motorway, connecting Riga and Kekava, carries volumes of freight traffic that are up to three times above the limit.

No date has been given as yet for a tendering process on the Bauska bypass.

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