Investments in roads and railways at the time of COVID-19

From the very beginning, when the epidemic has started, we have been taking active steps to prevent any disruptions in our department’s tasks – writes Andrzej Bittel, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure.

fot. Marcin Łobaczewski

 

Andrzej Bittel, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure:

The epidemiological situation caused by the COVID-19 virus has undoubtedly put the Polish economy to the test, including the infrastructure investment sector. The implementers of investment programs – the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways and PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe SA – from the very beginning of the epidemic took active steps to prevent disruptions in their tasks.

Investments implemented according to the planned schedules

The Ministry of Infrastructure also conducts regular meetings with the executive industry and awarding entities in order to introduce the best possible prevention of pandemic effects. As a result of joint actions, works on investments are carried out continuously and in accordance with schedules. The protection of contractors and contracting entities, and thus of the entire infrastructure investment sector, is also implemented through the provisions of so-called Anti-Crisis Shield – an act establishing unique legal mechanisms for the current crisis.

The Railway Plus program

It is also worth mentioning that, despite the pandemic, the government is consistently implementing public investment programs, which are the driving force of the Polish economy. At the end of May, PKP PLK SA has published on the websites and informed the local and regional and government authorities about the recruitment process for the Railway Plus Program. The total budget of PLN 6.5 billion (EUR 1.46 billion) will be fully allocated to the construction and modernization of local railway lines. In addition, in the years 2020-2025 the Program of construction of 200 railway stops with a budget of PLN 1 billion (EUR 0.22 billion) will be implemented. Currently, under the National Railway Program, tender procedures for over PLN 5.8 billion (EUR 1.30 billion) are under preparation.

9 national road investment programs

The Minister of Infrastructure has approved in May this year 9 investment programs for national roads development. The total value of those programs is almost PLN 500 million (EUR 112.30 million). The above amounts, which will be allocated to infrastructure investments, will significantly contribute to defrosting the Polish economy. Thus, contractors and subcontractors operating in Poland can be sure that public sector procurement will continue to drive the domestic construction market.