Working trip to Minsk District

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It is necessary to use concrete for road construction as much as possible. Increasing the quality of international transit motorways must be prioritized. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions as he visited the construction site of the second ring road in Minsk District on 3 September.

A modern concrete pouring technology is used to build the second ring road. Top officials of the transport industry, construction workers and designers assured the President that the decision that had been once made in favor of making the transition to the large-scale construction of concrete coating roads had been the right one. If the concrete pouring technology is observed, the warranty period for such roads can reach 25 years while the warranty period for asphalt roads is ten years at best. Apart from that, concrete roads are capable of handling bigger weights and therefore heavier vehicles.

The President gave instructions to expand the use of concrete for building roads in Belarus. “These roads have to exist. And not the way you planned. Pull out all stops,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that it is also important that only local raw materials are necessary to build concrete coating roads. Such raw materials are available in Belarus in sufficient amounts while in order to make asphalt Belarus needs bitumen, which is made out of imported oil. Thus, by building concrete roads Belarus will reduce the demand for expensive imported raw materials and will increase the workload of the Belarusian cement mills that have been modernized.

The President said that the construction and reconstruction of transit motorways in Belarus must be prioritized. The head of state remarked that in view of the ongoing events in Ukraine the importance of Belarus as a transport corridor that connects the West and the East has increased. “If we offer good roads in three or four directions, we will earn good money from transit. We will return all the investments. The sooner we do it, the better,” said the President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that in his time he set a similar task with regard to the development of the agribusiness. In addition to supplying the Belarus population with food Belarusian agribusiness should have the ability to export a lot. The decision has proved to be the right one, including taking into account the present situation in the region. Belarusian agricultural products enjoy an extreme demand. The President was convinced that demand for food on the international market will only grow.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed about plans regarding the reconstruction and construction of major motorways in 2015-2019. According to the presented information over 400km of motorways will be rebuilt and built, including over 330km of top-quality roads.

Among other things the completion of the reconstruction of the Bobruisk-Zhlobin section of the Minsk-Gomel road was discussed as well as the construction of a modern motorway to Grodno and the reconstruction of other roads. The head of state pointed out the importance of the motorway in the region of Polesie that connects Gomel and Brest for transit purposes. Aleksandr Lukashenko also remarked that if credit resources are to be used for road construction, it is necessary to choose optimal sources of finance and try to get the best terms possible.

Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to accelerate the construction of modern motorways. The instruction also applies to the second ring road around Minsk. “This ring road has to be commissioned within three years at most. One year has already passed. The ring road has to be ready by 1 January 2017,” said the President.

The head of state was told the construction project will involve several phases. The ring road will include both existing motorways and new ones. At present work is in progress to bridge the gap between the motorway M3 Minsk-Vitebsk and M6/E28 Minsk-Grodno – the Polish border. The section will be over 46km long and will include several phases. “The entire road till the motorway to Grodno has to be built next year,” said the President. “Then you will have one year or 1.5 years at most to build the road to reach the Moscow motorway”.

Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the need to wisely design motorways and avoid excessive and unwarranted spending. Auditing agencies have been instructed with this in mind. The agencies are supposed to verify the real cost of the work during the construction phase. “You have to audit the construction process and correct errors instead of doing it when the road is ready. Go along and make calculations,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

Apart from the construction of high-quality motorways Aleksandr Lukashenko was also informed about possibilities of using concrete to repair local automobile roads, including countryside roads. Instead of having to use complicated machines it is possible to use conventional ones, which are designed to pave with asphalt. The head of state approved of the proposals and spoke in favor of expanding the use of concrete coating for the sake of building all kinds of platforms and access roads.

The need to increase localization levels in the production of the road machines Belarus uses and start the production of the machines needed to maintain good roads was also discussed.

Taking into account the development of the road infrastructure in Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke in favor of raising the speed limit for the Minsk ring road and some parts of other motorways up to 120kmph. According to the President, transport services should be the ones to authorize speed limitations on motorways instead of police.