On 24th and 25th September, the ERF and Latvian State Roads (LSR) co-organised for the first time in Riga a technical Seminar on Engineering and Financing Sustainable Roads. This event gathered public stakeholders and industry representatives from Latvia and other EU countries.
During this conference, participants could exchange information and share knowledge with the objective of improving the road network in Latvia, by implementing successful experiences developed in Europe. Mr. Janis Lange, Chairman of the Board of Latvian State Roads officially opened the seminar, welcoming the participants together with Christophe Nicodème and Kristine Malnaca.
Road Safety and Road Infrastructure Financing were the main topics of discussion during the first and second day. Experts from Latvian Road Administration and other European organisations had the opportunity to share knowledge and identify common difficulties faced by the road sector, mainly due to a dramatic reduction of public funds.
The first day focused on road safety which is an issue of major interest in Latvia. The country achieved good results in terms of reduction of fatalities during the last years. First panel addressed the implementation of the Road Infrastructure Safety Directive. It was followed by a session on specific infrastructure elements, such as Road Restraint Systems and the EN1317, or Road Markings and Signs. The topic of the improvement of safety in Work Zones was also addressed. The ERF presented the RAINVISION and WhiteRoads EU Projects. This was an opportunity to highlight the importance of reliable data on road safety, as well as the consideration for vulnerable road users and the adaptation of road safety policies to an ageing population.
The second day commenced with the presentation of techniques and elements to improve pavement conservation. The last session focused on Road Infrastructure Financing and Procurement. Panelists compared road infrastructure financing experiences developed in other countries, which could be implemented in Latvia to ensure the essential funds for the necessary development and the maintenance of the road network in the future.
Final remarks by Mr. Lange underlined the necessity to improve the awareness of the essential role of the road infrastructure among the decision makers and politicians, insisting on the negative impact – in terms of safety and socio-economic development - that a lack of proper financing and maintenance of the road network would have on the country and its citizens.
Proceedings of the event