Transport Ministry plans an ambitious 12 years

Some 660 projects for road and rail are counted on in a long-range plan

The Ministry of Transport plans to significantly increase the pace of construction of new roads and railways. It wants to spend Kč 2.6 trillion for building and repairing infrastructure by 2030.

The ministry has puts its concepts into the National Investment Plan, which is being prepared by the Ministry for Regional Development and will cover plans for all ministries.
In total, the construction of 660 projects for road, rail and water infrastructure is counted on. The budget also covers repairs and maintenance of existing networks.

After subtracting for small projects and maintenance the total amount will be reduced to Kč 1.8 trillion, according to Luděk Sosna, head of the strategy at the Ministry of Transport.

Aside from highways, the plans include a proposal to build a network of high-speed rail lines for trains exceeding 200 kilometers per hour. These are planned to be built starting in 2028.

The projects do not include the planned canal linking the Danube with the Odra, (Oder) and Labe (Elbe) rivers, planned for after 2030 at a cost of up to Kč 600 billion.

Next year, the budget of the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, which covers road and rail projects, is projected at Kč 86.3 billion. Almost a quarter of this sum is made up of contributions from the European Union, the level of which are unclear in the future.

The current EU operational programs do not extend to 2030, and the Czech Ministry of Transport is lobbying for separate funds that can be extended beyond 2021.

To keep pace with the National Investment Plan, the annual amount of annual investment from the state would have to more than double to Kč 217 billion.

Zbyněk Hořelica, the director of Transport Infrastructure Fund, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes that options such as public-private partnerships (PPP), bonds and other European subsidies are also being considered to help pay for some of the projects.

The Ministry of Transport has also long advocated that it should get an increased share of excise duty on fuels and lubricants.

An issue that might delay some projects is the lack of capacity in construction companies that have the potential to bid for large orders in the Czech Republic.

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