New bridge might be built in Salacgrīva, Latvia

It is planned to build a new bridge instead of the currently partially closed one in the northern city Salacgrīva. Its costs are estimated at EUR 15 million and by the end of the year there will be clarity as to how some of it can be covered by the financial support for European Military Mobility, Transport Minister Kaspars Briškens said at the responsible Saeima committee Wednesday, Latvian Radio reports.

The bridge over river Salaca in Salacgrīva is part of the Via Baltica motorway of international interest. The bridge has never had an overhaul in 65 years. The wear-and-tear of the bridge is obvious. Over the summer, there was congestion, as only one side of the bridge was used. The Estonian Transport Department had requested explanations from Latvia about this.

The bridge is owned by the municipality of Limbaži. The City Council commissioned a building project developed by Projekts 3 Ltd and was approved by Latvian State Roads.

The amount needed to rebuild the bridge – approximately EUR 15 million – exceeds the capacity of the local authority. The Ministry of Transport did not previously take over the bridge's management, but now promises to seek co-financing to build a new bridge.

In case of a positive European Military Mobility Project tender decision, it is planned to sign a bridge construction financing agreement in July next year. Then there will also be clarity with the financing of the whole building project, including state and local government resources.

In the meantime, the municipality of Limbaži will organize construction procurement. Construction of the new bridge is planned to take place in 2024 and 2025, said Tālis Vectirāns, director of the Road infrastructure Department at the Ministry of Transport.

If the tender fails to obtain the European co-financing hoped for in order to construct the bridge, the state will seek other co-financing possibilities, for example from the transit co-financing program.

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