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Motorways will cut through Czech mountains

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A new government plan proposes the construction of a road passing through central Šumava, another one through Jeseníky and a new dual carriageway to the foothills in northern Bohemia. These completely new sections of motorways and dual carriageways come as part of a plan, whose final version the government should discuss this month.

It is a strategic document that will decide for many years ahead how the country’s territory could be used for various types of infrastructure. It defines routes that cannot be used for other purposes in the future if the plan is approved.

No parameters have been set for the hundreds of kilometres of new roads. Their specific shape will only be determined in the instant that the state decides to build them. Transportation experts say it does not necessarily have to motorways. “In the case of the S3 road via Vimperk to the border crossing Strážné in Šumava, it would not be possible either because the law does not allow that. It would pass through a protected nature area,” said Miroslav Vančura of the Transport Research Centre.

Another new road, the S11, is to connect the northern Bohemian cities of Liberec and Děčín. The Jeseník region is to be connected with the rest of the country by means of a new tunnel. “A transit connection to Poland is not considered for the moment,” Vančura said.

Also, a completely new road should connect the west of the country with the eastern part. The road, which is not included in the working plans yet, should be built between Plzeň and Brno south of the D1 motorway.

However, the fate of the document and of the said roads is still unclear. The Environment Ministry opposes it and demands that the plan be completely reworked. The ministry criticises the plan’s insufficient environmental impact assessment.

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