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The coronavirus pandemic did not have a significant impact on the investments carried out by the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, which commissioned 140 kilometres of new roads last year. The total amount of expenses exceeded PLN 18.0 billion (increase by PLN 4.6 billion compared to 2019), of which PLN 13.2 billion came from the National Road Fund, while the remaining PLN 5.1 billion from the state budget.
The year 2020 was another one in which the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways significantly increased its activity by publishing 48 tenders (vs 34 in 2019) for sections with a total length of 600 kilometres (480 kilometres in 2019). According to the analyses of Budimex, last year the value of offers opened by the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways in proceedings of significant value increased (PLN 14.1 billion in 2020 vs. PLN 10.7 billion in 2019). Last year, as part of the National Road Construction Programme (PBDK), tenders were announced for 493.1 km and 32 contracts were signed for the construction of roads with a length of approx. 430 km and a value of PLN 17.7 billion (vs. PLN 5.3 billion in 2019). 3 contracts for general construction of roads with a total length of 19.9 km and a value of PLN 420 million were signed in the “100 Ring Roads Construction Programme”, while 10 further tenders are pending. The programme assumes the construction of roads with a total length of 830 km. In June 2020, the government increased the PBDK budget by PLN 21 billion. The decision was driven by the increase in costs on the construction market and the inclusion of the investments that were originally to be implemented in the PPP formula (Tricity Beltway, S10 Toruń – Bydgoszcz, S6 on sections Koszalin – Słupsk and Słupsk - Lębork).
In November 2020, the Council of Ministers adopted a law on changing the name of the Local Government Road Fund to the Government Road Development Fund (RFRD). The project budget was increased by PLN 3 billion and now amounts to PLN 39 billion for the whole 10-year period of operation (2019-2028). The law also extended the list of tasks that can receive funding from the RFRD to include ring roads along voivodeship roads, urban tasks and investments that improve pedestrian safety at crossings. The maximum funding amounts to PLN 100 million for the construction of the ring road and PLN 30 million for urban tasks. The budget of the project for 2021 is PLN 3.2 billion, as was the case in 2019. The General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) has announced its intention to introduce changes to the tendering process by setting up a certification system for contractors, which would reduce the time and costs of bid preparation, while the contracting authority would be able to verify contractors more quickly and effectively. GDDKiA presented the most beneficial corridor variants for the planned sections of the S10 and the Warszawa Agglomeration Ring Road in class S or A. For the S10 section, the most favourable variant with an estimated construction cost of PLN 4.7 billion is the 100-kilometre-long section between Włocławek Północ and Nacpolsk junctions. For the S-class section of the Warszawa Agglomeration Ring Road, the most favourable variant with an estimated construction cost of PLN 10.9 billion is the 165-km-long section between Wiskitki and Dębe Wielkie junctions. For the A-class road, the most favourable variant with an estimated construction cost of PLN 7.5 billion is the 98-km-long section between Wiskitki and Dębe Wielkie junctions. In 2021, the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways plans to launch 28 tenders for the construction of new roads with a total length of 350 kilometres and a value exceeding PLN 17 billion, including 8 sections of the planned S19 expressway with a total length of approx. 100 kilometres. In addition, road repairs with a total length of 330 kilometres and a value of around PLN 2.5 billion have been planned. In the coming years, an increase in investments in road construction is expected due to a significant increase in the value of announced tender procedures last year. It is worth noting that the share of tenders in the “design and build” formula increased in relation to “construct” formula contracts. Last year, there was also a decrease in the value (by 30% on average) of bids submitted by bidders compared to the investor’s budget.