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Iedzīvotāji vāc parakstus par ceļa Kuldīga–Basi sakārtošanu

Villagers wait 15 years for road reconstruction

More than 600 signatures have been collected in Kuldīga district for the reconstruction of the Kuldīga-Basi section of the state local road, reported Latvian Television March 13. 

The signatures are being compiled this week and will be submitted to the responsible ministries and institutions next week. 

The residents of Gudenieki Parish have been waiting for the repair of this road for more than 15 years. During that time, there were many promises that the road would be fixed, many broken vehicles, and the population of the parish decreased.

Currently, the road leading from Kuldīga to Basi in Gudenieki parish is dry. The locals say that at the present moment it is te rare state of being safely negotiable, but for most of the year the approximately 14-kilometer road section to Kuldīga is a big test to vehicles and drvers alike. 

Local businessman Andris Dmitrijevs said he has already signed petitions demanding the road be repaired three times, including this time.

"Each year, at least four new tires are bought for the car, because they are simply punctured. There are moments when there is nowhere to go, drive along the road, weave slowly, and cross yourself that you won't have a flat tire or a broken disc," Andris described as the usual mode of dealing with the pitted and potholed surface.

The bad road even affects culture, as for example, it was the reason for the refusal of a group of musicians to come and play. In addition, Basi is one of the cultural spaces of the famous Suiti ethnic group, and there is a culture house in the old manor house barn with an exhibition dedicated to the Suiti culture.  

Olita Ulmkalne, cultural work organizer of Gudenieki Parish, stated: "Visitors first call and ask which road they should take. When I say that, unfortunately, they cannot come to us via and asphalted road, they say - oh, excuse me, then we won't go, we have a bus which we can only drive on asphalt roads."

En route since 2009

The Kuldīga–Basi road is a section of the country's local highway. The Gudenieki Parish administration has been talking about its improvement for a long time, particularly since the 2009 administrative territorial reform.

In 2020, about four kilometers of gravel from Kuldīga to Kurmālei was asphalted. A reconstruction project has been developed for the remaining section, in which the state has invested more than 150,000 euros so far. 

Daina Bērende, head of the Gudenieki parish administration, said that initially it was thought that work on surfacing could start this year, but it turns out that this year the money has not been allocated for it.

The municipality of Kuldīga region has written a letter to the responsible ministries, explaining that this section of the road is important for the development of the local area. The long-term delay in the reconstruction of the road has already negatively affected the development of Gudenieku parish, for example, the population has decreased by 32% since 2012 – more than elsewhere. 

The municipality has also offered to divide the work into stages, stated Artis Roberts, deputy chairman of the Kuldīga County Council:

"We have also asked that these works can perhaps be planned in stages. Do not look at all of them at once, but divide them into parts. Thus, maybe we get to the result faster."

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development stated in writing that this section is included in its reserve list of roads for repair. However at the moment, it will not be rebuilt, because such works require more time than the investment conditions of the Recovery Fund allow, as well as insufficient funding.

It is estimated that about 9 million euros are needed to ring the 14 kilometer long section up to standard.

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