Two applications submitted by Lithuania for financing important road and rail transport projects improving dual-purpose mobility connections with Europe, military and civil, were approved at the meeting of the CEF Coordinating Committee for Transport on 7 April.
For the Via Baltica project, EUR 60 million were allocated, and for the loading site in Palemonas — EUR 13.3 million of CEF funds.
“In the current context, we pay particular attention to the implementation of dual-purpose transport infrastructure projects. This is important not only for the development of Lithuanian business and for the convenience of the population, but also for the national security of the country, the mobility of the military and NATO allies in the region,” — says the Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.
Via Baltica is strategically important for Lithuanian and international transport — it is one of the most intensively used transit segments in the country. After reconstruction, this road will have to comply with international standards on infrastructure safety and traffic organisation.
In the first of the four stages of reconstructing the road A5 Kaunas-Marijampolė-Suwałki, it is planned to expand the existing road up to 4 lanes and construct connecting roads near the A5 highway. In this section about 16 km of new tunnel passes, safer intersections of different levels, bridges across the river Šešupė, roundabouts and heavy transport parking will be constructed. The introduction of environmental measures and the construction of a noise-reducing barrier are also envisaged.
This whole road section from Marijampolė to the Polish border, with a total length of slightly more than 40 km, will be reconstructed in accordance with the requirements for motorways. The speed limit will be 130 km/h. The end of the works is scheduled for the end of 2024.
As part of the project to construct a loading site in Palemonas, a dual-purpose heavy-duty vehicle loading site for 300 military and civil vehicles will be constructed, and three additional railway tracks will be built — this will allow the simultaneous arrival of three trains carrying military equipment.
The infrastructure in Palemonas will be adapted for both military and freight trains. In addition, the construction of dual-purpose loading ramps, noise-reducing walls and the reconstruction of a 1.5 km section of Palemonas street will be carried out. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2027.
The Kaunas Intermodal Terminal (KIT) in Palemonas is an important part of the Rail Baltica project for the whole of Europe, and it has been connected to the European rail network since 2021.
On 4 April, a new regular international transportation route from the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal (KIT) to Duisburg (Germany) was opened. It will allow transporting up to 36 units of semi-trailers and containers with intermodal goods per trip. Ways to increase freight flows from Western and Central European countries are also further explored.