The Transport Administration finds that the outgoing winter has taken an above-average toll on Estonian roads, and that decisions to slash the country's road maintenance budget makes them increasingly difficult to mend.
"Intuitively speaking, we can say that this winter has been harder on roads than previous ones. A protracted spring and constantly changing temperatures have left their mark on many roads," said Andres Piibeleht, head of the administration's infrastructure and maintenance department, when asked whether there are more potholes this spring.
"The Transport Administration does not keep count of individual potholes, which would be difficult to do as new ones keep appearing all the time, while others get fixed," Piibeleht said.
He added that the administration procures road maintenance services from private partners and work is based on the general condition of individual roads, meaning it is hard to say what it costs to fix one or all potholes.
"We will repair all holes in road surfaces," the administration's representative promised.
"The situation will be even more difficult in the coming years as things stand. Funds earmarked for maintenance of public roads – reconstruction, resurfacing and maintenance – are set to fall considerably over the next two years," Piibeleht said.
The Transport Administration said last week that it only has €40 million for maintenance of public roads this year for a reduction of €130 million since 2022. This will see the volume of roadworks fall by a fifth. Compared to 2021, the volume of roadworks has fallen by a third.
Editor: Marcus Turovski