Entrepreneur fixes decrepit public road with own money

Take note – story published 6 years ago

An entrepreneur in the Latvian countryside has had a kilometer-long stretch of state-owned gravel road asphalted at his own cost. 

The state road P95 from Jelgava to Vilce is in a reasonable state until it reaches Svēte parish. It has Soviet-era asphalt covering that's admittedly riddled with potholes and patched up haphazardly.

Thereafter, it turns into a gravel road that cars can safely navigate only at walking pace. 

However following the Ūziņu parish an asphalt covering appears on the road. This section borders a sizable estate, the owner of which had the road repaired. 

It's estimated that laying asphalt on this section might have cost about €100,000. 

While the owner was unavailable on-site, construction workers at the estate revealed that the owner had financed the roadworks.

"When cars drove on the road, there was such dust that it was impossible to breathe and the dust bit into one's teeth. It was impossible to see anything--all was covered in a fog! .. Even the cedar trees could not really grow, but now they've changed color," the workers say.

Jelgava municipality confirmed that the road repair was financed from private funds. The benefactor himself wishes to retain anonymity. 

Anna Kononova, a representative of Latvijas Valsts ceļi (Latvian State Roads) says that small countryside roads haven't been fixed for twenty years and their maintenance is at a bare minimum.

"Of course, Latvian State Roads know that a private individual had de-dusted the road .. the entrepreneur turned to Latvian State Roads early this year asking whether we're planning to fund the road and remove dust. Sadly the state road network has for a long time been maintained with insufficient funding," she told Latvian Radio. 

She also said that cases when individuals have public roads fixed for their own money are becoming increasingly rare. 

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