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Many roads to keep their potholes due to budget shortfall

The Transport Infrastructure Agency says it can only afford to repair Finland's busiest roads this summer.

Asfaltointityötä Hämeenlinnan keskustassa.
Motorists will encounter fewer roadworks this summer – and bumpier roads. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

The total extent of Finnish roads classed as being in poor or very poor condition will rise by 600 kilometres this year, estimates the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

Significantly fewer roads will be resurfaced this year than over the past decade, the agency says. Some 1,500 kilometres of roadways are to be fixed, a drop of about 40 percent compared to recent years.

The Transport Infrastructure Agency says that this summer it will only be able to maintain the condition of the most heavily-used segments of the road network. It says it probably won't be able to afford to repair smaller roads. As a result speed limits may be lowered on some motorways that are in bad shape.

"The significant reduction in the amount of resurfacing will lead to an increase in the need for repairs and filling on roads that were already in poor shape with older surfaces. The total of extent of roads in poor condition is projected to rise by 600 kilometres this year," says the Transport Infrastructure Agency's roads director, Pekka Rajala.

One third for signs and potholes

Altogether 105 million euros have been earmarked for road repairs this year. About one third of that will go to road signage and filling potholes. The rest will go to repaving roads, but the number of kilometres to be resurfaced depends on the price of bitumen, the main raw material used in asphalt, the agency says.

This year's paving projects are underway, with some sites already completed in southern Finland.

A map on the Transport Infrastructure Agency website shows all of this summer's road work projects.

Another map shows the condition of roads during the past winter down to a precision level of 100 meters, with roads in very poor condition marked in red.

“The information provided by the map can be utilised when, for example, planning driving routes as roads with very poor pavement condition have lower speed limits,” says Rajala.

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