Demonstrators Block Road to Poland to Make Case for Motorway

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The foundation stone of the D3 motorway stretch Cadca, Bukov - Svrcinovec on January 24, 2017.

Kysucky Lieskovec, March 14 (TASR) – Protesters blocked the I/11 road between Zilina and the border with Poland on Tuesday in a second protest demanding the speedy completion of the D3 motorway, TASR learnt later in the day.

Mayor of the town of Kysucke Nove Mesto (Zilina region) Jan Hartel noted that the first such blockade of the I/11 road in the village of Povina also marked the launch of a petition in support of speeding up the motorway’s completion. “The next day we sent letters to the Government Office, Parliament, the National Highway Company (NDS) and the Transport and Construction Ministry. We listed reasons for our petition and for the way that we’re doing it. We expected some reactions, but we’ve only received proof of delivery so far. So, we’ve decided to continue to protest until we receive a binding statement that they’ll begin to address the situation,” said Hartel.

Lubomir Janoska, who has been empowered to represent the petition committee with the authorities, said that some 15,000 people have signed the petition so far. “We’re looking to secure a strong mandate for politicians from the Kysuce area,” he said, noting that the petition drive won’t stop until 20,000 people have signed.

“We’d like to make it clear that had it not been for political decisions and all sorts of influences, several dozen people could still be alive now. We want to light candles for all the people who’ve been killed on the I/11 road since 2006, when the D3 motorway was supposed to be completed,” said mayor of the village of Krasno nad Kysucou Jozef Grapa.

In her response, Transport and Construction Ministry spokesperson Karolina Ducka singled out the D3 motorway project as one of the ministry’s top priorities for two reasons – the motorway’s status as a section of the CORE TEN-T trans-European road network and the busy traffic on the I/11 road.

“It’s therefore in the interests of the ministry and its head Arpad Ersek to ensure that the complicated transport situation in Kysuce is resolved as effectively as possible. Early last year we launched the construction of one of the D3’s most sorely needed stretches (Cadca, Bukov–Svrcinovec), which will ease traffic in Cadca and its surroundings in four years. Once that is completed, a safe and fast road of 20 kilometres from Cadca to the Polish border will have been completed. Linking up to Poland’s S1 expressway, the new D3 motorway will be among our most important road connections with Poland,” said Ducka. Specific timeframes for motorway projects are conditional on funding towards public procurements.

The petition committee said that it was spurred into action when the transport situation in Kysuce reached a critical point and was in need of a speedy solution. “A total of 182 accidents have occurred on the I/11 Svrcinovec–Cadca–Kysucke Nove Mesto–Zilina stretch in the past two years alone. Thirteen people have been killed, 22 people have sustained serious injuries and 22 people have suffered light injuries. The year 2017 started off on a tragic note as well, as three people were killed and one person suffered serious injuries in an accident in January,” stated the petition committee.