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A new model for road maintenance expected to save millions to Gdynia

The Polish city is expected to pay around PLN 10 million less for a decade
  • December 02, 2019 09:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium gdynia winter cleaning marcin mielewski
Source: Marcin Mielewski / Gdynia.pl

Gdynia will introduce a new road cleaning model that will start operating from the 2020/21 season. Cheaper and more ecological, the system is regarded as more efficient, independent, flexible and of higher quality. What is more, it is expected to save the city up to PLN 10 million in 2-3 years.

Sustainability and efficient public spending

The reasons behind the decision to change the existing road maintenance model have been both economic and ecological. First of all, the expenses for road maintenance have been steadily increasing since 2006 – from PLN 27 per kilometre in 2006 to PLN 195 in 2017. This makes it so that some years the Polish city has spent as much as 18 million on cleaning the main transport system. In addition, the contractors had to maintain full readiness regardless of the weather. Another problem was the excessive sprinkling of salt on the road which has harmful effects on the environment, road infrastructure and vehicles.

Those are the reasons why Mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek appointed a team of experts whose task was to analyse the current situation, compare with models in other Polish municipalities and present a plan to optimize the year-round model for maintaining Gdynia's roads. The survey confirmed that most cities use a system similar to Gdynia's, and the average annual cost of winter cleaning of 1 km of road is around PLN 20,000. Yet, Grudziądz stood out with the lowest service cost (PLN 5,000 for 1 km) while also providing a standard which meets the expectations of residents and drivers.

Thus, the city's main road and travel network will be cleaned all year round by a fleet of 18 special vehicles, including sand spreaders, sweepers and watering machines. “All vehicles will be high class and brand new. What's more, they will have exchangeable components, which will enable cleaning the roads both in winter and during other seasons. Our years of experience have allowed us to prepare optimal equipment and logistics options that will not generate too high maintenance costs” - emphasizes Wojciech Folejewski, director of Gdynia ZDiZ, operator of Summer and Winter Road Maintenance.

“A year-round model of road cleaning based on urban resources will provide us with high quality, independence, flexibility and, above all, efficiency. We estimate that within 2-3 years, we will save up to PLN 10 million. We will be able to spend these funds more efficiently: on-road repairs and investments. Ecological aspects are also extremely important.” summarizes Vice President Marek Łucyk.

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