Situation in road infrastructure improving, minister says

Dravograd, 21 August - The state of the public road infrastructure that had been hit by the floods is much better than ten days ago, Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek assessed as she visited some of the affected areas on Monday. Some 60 km of roads were still completely or partially closed on Sunday, with the road in Luče remaining the main issue.

Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek visits flood-stricken Koroška region.
Photo: Vesna Pušnik Brezovnik/STA

Bridge over the Mislinja destroyed by the early August floods.
Photo: Vesna Pušnik Brezovnik/STA
File photo

According to Bratušek, "the situation is improving every day," as a week ago 120 km of roads were partially or completely closed, which was down to 60km yesterday.

As Bratušek visited today the northern Koroška region, where landslides pose a threat to some of the roads, she said that "at the moment we are somewhat powerless." The minister added one needed to wait for landslide assessments and instructions from experts.

Bratušek used the opportunity to praise all the workers that have been working hard for more than 14 days to make the roads passable in a relatively short time.

The link between Črna na Koroškem and Mežica, where half of the road was destroyed, has been repaired in a few days using retaining walls made of rocks to allow for freight transport.

Most problematic is the road in Luče, "which practically doesn't exist", said Bratušek. "Design engineers estimate that establishing passability will take four weeks, maybe a week longer," she added.

When asked how the floods will affect the Third Development Axis, the planned north-to-south expressway, the minister said that ongoing investments will not need to be suspended.

"That is how it looks at the moment," she said. "I believe that the government will decide shortly which are the key state investments that will not be stopped in any case," Bratušek added. She believes that the Third Development Axis will remain a priority.

© STA, 2023