New bypass will ease congestion in busy Vilnius

A major scheme to construct a bypass in Lithuania’s capital city aims at improving traffic flows while reducing accidents and noise pollution.

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In recent years, the number of private vehicles using the street of Vilnius and surrounding areas has increased dramatically. The Vilnius City Southern Bypass project will help to reduce congestion by diverting traffic – including heavy vehicles – away from the city centre. South-western parts of the city will benefit most from the scheme, especially Kirtimai Street which has to cater for most of the area’s traffic as well as motorist travelling into southern Vilnius from the suburbs.

Construction of the 27.7 km long Southern Bypass takes place in three stages, with work undertaken between 2012 and 2020.

Stage-one schedule

This funding decision covers building works in stage one, which is to upgrade and widen a 7.67 km stretch of Kirtimai Street. The goal is to reconstruct the section of road that currently carries traffic in one direction while adding new lanes that can carry vehicles in the opposite direction.

Work includes all necessary street lighting and rain drainage. Reconstruction of various intersections ensures that the new road can only be accessed by using accelerating and decelerating lanes. Viaducts and flyovers for railway crossings also form part of the construction package. In addition, the scheme includes noise barriers to make life more bearable for the area’s 9 000 residents. The project has been designed to allow motorists to travel quickly along the road without any stops at a maximum speed of 80 km/hour.

When complete, this project should reduce time delays on the street by about 15 million hours over 25 years, corresponding to 35 % of travel times estimated if the project did not go ahead. Over the years, there should also be a substantial reduction in the number of accidents. Automatic speed control measures are planned for the newly built section of road, which aim to maximise traffic safety improvements. And because traffic will travel more smoothly along the new road, there should be a corresponding reduction of emissions in the area. Project implementation is estimated to create about 195 jobs.

Stage two of the overall scheme will see construction of the bypass from the Vilnius city border to the junction with the E85 Vilinius-Lida, Kiev road. Stage three will take the bypass from the E85 to the E28 Vilnius Minsk road.

The construction work forms part of the EU’s efforts to develop its trans-European Transport Network – the so-called TEN-T programme. The TEN-T programme is investing billions of Euros to improve Europe’s transport infrastructure to enable people and goods to move more efficiently across EU Member States.

The Lithuanian Road Administration, under the Ministry of Transport and Communications (State enterprise “Vilniaus regiono keliai”), will manage and maintain the new bypass.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “The Road E85 of Trans-European Road Network. Construction of Vilnius City Southern Bypass” is EUR 70 307 098, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 51 145 261 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. The project falls under the Economic Growth Operational Programme, priority "Development of Trans-European Transport Network".

Draft date