City of Kolín ring-road will take freight traffic away from city centre to improve safety and air quality

The new bypass will divert road transport from Kolín’s city centre, to the south of the city. The works will increase road safety for the city’s residents and greatly improve air quality. The project contributes to the EU’s objective of creating sustainable urban development across the all countries. As the bypass allows traffic to move more fluidly it also reduces journey time, particularly for larger freight vehicles, which will bring economic benefits, helping to improve the free movement of goods.

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The project is one of five separate investments upgrading road transport links to Prague. This section of the wider project will result in 7.957 km of two-lane road meeting Czech national road standards. It has been necessary to relocate existing roads and reconstruct road links, including 12 bridges and 3 flyover junctions. 

It is estimated that the value in time saved by freight transporters could amount to more than EUR 50 million in savings. As the economy expands the bypass will also be able to accommodate the extra-capacity needed to contain traffic growth. About 68 jobs will be created during the project.

Sustainable urban development

One of the main roads to Prague passes through the city of Kolín. Kolín is famous for its festival of traditional brass band music and baroque architecture, and was built to the highest standards of medieval urbanism. The city is a buzzing and successful city with more than 30 000 inhabitants. However, modern life and freight traffic mean that the original planning has been put to the test. The road system was no longer fit for purpose and action was needed to protect quality of life in terms of air quality and safety for the city’s residents.

The project has not just been focused on economic benefits. It is one of a number of works funded under this programme that aims to help cut traffic accidents by as much as 40 % and reduce the exposure of city residents to air pollution. The European Commission has estimated that air pollution may be responsible for as many as 400 000 deaths in Europe every year - by removing traffic from congested city centres, real health benefits are delivered to citizens.

The roads are being built to the highest standards. Anti-noise walls will be included as part of the project, helping to reduce the noise pollution experienced by those living near roads. Exposure to noise can lead to serious health problems, such as sleep disturbance, cardiovascular diseases and mental health illnesses. This is primarily a health issue but noise can also lead to reduced productivity and place an additional burden on the health system and the value of property close to noisy roads.

The new infrastructure is much greener, featuring landscaped road verges with extensive vegetation, which make the new developments more attractive. This is better for citizens. Attractive towns that are easily accessible are also more attractive to companies when deciding on where they would like to locate a new business.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Road I/38 Kolín – bypass” is EUR 97 736 934, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 83 076 393 through the “Transport” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

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