Taking care of the road network

In English  · Published 07.06.2018

Predictability and planning for the long-term are at the core of responsible infrastructure politics. We are now facing a situation with an uncertain future, as the EUR 500 million maintenance debt package funds intended for maintaining the road network will run out by the end of the year. For now, no additional funding has been assigned by the state.

"The current situation is entirely untenable," says Aleksi Randell, who was nominated CEO for Rakennusteollisuus in November 2017.

The Council of State decree on a road classification system currently in preparation aims to alleviate the situation, although it will not provide more funding for maintenance as such. Randell is in support of a long-term plan spanning across decades. For just the maintenance of infrastructure, this would create a funding need of tens of billions.

"A long-term road maintenance and development plan of 12 years is crucial at this point. This would cover both the maintenance of the existing road network and new construction projects. We will need somewhere between EUR 500 million to a billion annually to be able to maintain and expand the existing road network and thereby ensure sufficient transport services for both our citizens and the economy."

"This raises the question of what will happen to the long-term and committed development of the road network once responsibility for it will be taken over by individual municipalities."

When responsibility of the road network’s development and maintenance is transferred to municipalities, Randell fears the 18 municipalities may not have sufficient resources for implementing extensive road construction projects. Political inclinations may also put a dampener on new construction projects.

"Our increasingly complex world constantly requires new ways of implementing different projects."


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