auto roads, auto road funding, resource assignment methodology
Auto road sector in national economy, is a sector development of which, with appropriate funding, creates basis for other sector development and facilitates competitiveness of country in international market. The goal of auto road sector is auto road network maintenance and development, in order to contribute to the development of the whole country, increase of standards of living of inhabitants, as well as facilitate compliance of Latvian auto roads with the European Union requirements for auto road network. Effective resource utilization and investment attraction to auto road sector is determinant for favorable conditions to overcome economic crisis, structural changes in national economy, regional development and technical progress implementation, which, subsequently, are basis for stable growth of economy. Development and construction of international and national roads is strategically important for further country’s economic development, as well as for the European Union regulation and standard fulfillment. In order to achieve positive progress in Latvian auto road development, it is important to assign existing funds, as well as try to find opportunity to increase financing for roads in Latvia. It is necessary to elaborate effective method in order to be able to assign funds appropriately for prioritized projects for them to create reflective return in the development of national economy of Latvia. Solution for this problem is scientifically grounded, well considered auto road construction resource appraisal and assigning method elaboration. Traffic intensity on Latvian roads has considerably increased during the past few years – motor road traffic has increased at least two times. Roads are very overloaded. Demand on use of the transport infrastructure is still increasing. This growth is due to both increasing of number of registered vehicles and the fact that there increases the number of inhabitants of Latvia which live outside Riga but work in Riga. During the past ten years quality of the Latvian auto roads has considerably deteriorated. Due to shortage of financing and increase of the traffic intensity auto roads in Latvia are worn out, coverings has become uneven and there have developed grooves and holes. Shortage of money has forced the owner of roads to set a decreased maintenance standard. Driving by bad roads increases possibilities of accidents on roads and the costs of users and speeds up the wear of vehicles and results in more frequent repairs. Taking into account bad technical condition of Latvian roads, which is deteriorating from year to year due to lack of funding is necessary to significantly improve the situation, which could be achieved by increasing funding for road management, maintenance and restoration. Now Latvian road network condition is critical. As several years for state road maintenance and restoration are not allocated sufficient resources, road pavement condition in many country roads is not satisfactory, and even in some parts is needed emergency reconstruction. Road funding model over the past 15 years has changed several times. Over the last couple of years, it was succeeded to improve the financing model, which along with beginning of economic crisis was destroyed, now the road funding level has fallen back for 5 years.