Lehota to Get Link to R1 Expressway by October

The old exit from R1 to Velke Zaluzie and Lehota during construction of the southern bypass around Nitra, April 2010. (Photo by TASR)

Lehota/Velke Zaluzie, February 22 (TASR) – The village of Lehota near Nitra will acquire a direct link to the PR1BINA expressway by October, Lehota mayor Milan Chmelar told TASR on Monday.

The local authority as a co-investor in the project is currently drawing up a territorial decision and is dealing with the ownership of the plots concerned. “All plots will be owned by the village, and then they’ll be rented out to the Transport Ministry,” said Chmelar, adding that the plots in question feature around 30 known owners, including the Church, state and the National Highway Company (NDS), and a number of unknown owners.

“We estimate that the cost for the village will reach €125,000, which will affect our budget. We’ll attempt to master the funding from our own resources, however,” said Chmelar. The overall cost of the construction work should reach €800,000.

The villages of Lehota and Velke Zaluzie have been attempting to restore a link to the R1 expressway in the immediate vicinity of Lehota for years. An old link to the R1 was removed as part of the construction of a new southern bypass around Nitra opened in 2011.

“It will be possible to reach Nitra through the borough of Kynek alone, resulting in an inevitable traffic collapse, as traffic in this location has already been too dense,” wrote the mayors of Lehota and Velke Zaluzie as part of the final public comment session concerning the bypass construction in 2008.

Despite these objections, the Transport, Construction and Regional Development Ministry stated that there was no reason to have so many links within a close distance of the expressway. It claimed that they would unnecessarily slow traffic down and also have an adverse effect on traffic safety. So, the old link was removed.

Nevertheless, the ministry has now changed its mind, with traffic safety currently cited as one of the chief reasons for constructing a new link, roughly in the same place as the old one. The latest decision has been welcomed by people from Lehota, Velke Zaluzie, Jarok, Kynek and from the town of Nitra. “The link will be a huge contribution for our people, who’ll thereby be able to bypass traffic jams in the town to commute to work in Nitra industrial park within a few minutes,” added Chmelar.