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After the conclusion of an open EU tender, the government decided in May to grant concessions to a significant proportion of the expressways that had been managed by the state until now. The road network managed by Magyar Koncessziós Infrastructura Fejlsztó Zrt. (MKIF) includes, among other things, internationally important transit corridors, but it also includes

  • the sections of the M1 between Bicske and the national border and the M7 motorway between M0 and the national border,
  • the entire area of ​​M3, M4, M15, M25, M30, M35, M44, M70, M85 and M86,
  • and the section of the M8 motorway between Kisapostag and Apostag.

The company had just over three months to prepare for the smooth takeover, for which Tamás Németh said in an interview with Magyar Építók that they first had to buy from Magyar Közút Nzrt. According to the CEO, they had to create a new infrastructure for the transition, which included, among other things, a new IT system, dispatch center and office.

The manager said that the negotiations took place for 12 hours a day in nine working groups to get everything in place, in which the previous operator provided maximum assistance. He admitted that there is still room for improvement in the operation, however, the first renovations could be started as early as October on the M1, M3 and M7 motorways, the aim of which was that these works should not be carried out in winter, and that they prevent further deterioration of the condition of the roads.

Tamás Németh reminded that the essence of the concession contract is that the engineering network, personnel, assets and inventory taken over from the state should help the new operator provide a higher quality service, but they must also react more quickly to possible amortization of the highway.

If the tape barrier is damaged or a pothole is formed, we have a much shorter time at our disposal. Add to that the fact that we took over the roads with thousands of defects to be repaired, including everything from broken toilets to damaged signs to dead animal carcasses, and in a short time we were able to reduce this to a quarter

said the for sheet the general manager, then added that MKIF also carried out an assessment of the carrying capacity of the network entrusted to it, but their longer-term strategic goal is to develop the expressways to the same level. According to their survey, overall, of the 1,237 kilometers of expressways taken over, 538 kilometers need to be worked on in order to achieve a uniform level, that is, on average, 43 kilometers out of 100 kilometers are affected.

Tamás Németh also reported that since there were county organizations at Magyar Közút, now all the engineering units belonging to the center have to work with different parameters, so the extent of the necessary improvements is also different. The leveling works will start as early as next year, in which, in addition to the development of the roadway, the tape barriers and traffic technology devices belonging to the roads will also be developed, as well as the company’s communications.

The manager also drew attention to the dangers of highway management, as the works must be carried out in most cases with continuous traffic. It also indicates how important risk reduction is

in autumn, in three and a half weeks, their colleagues suffered five accidents while working on the roads, two of their colleagues were hospitalized, and three of their cars were totaled.

That is why, in the future, drones would be sent out for road inspections instead of their cars serving in the stop lane on the most dangerous highway sections. First, however, the goal is to update the current fleet of machines, as there are devices that are more than 20 years old.

Finally, he said that the MKIF should also take a leading role in the development of expressways in the coming years, creating a certain amount of new tracks, for which they must first prepare the development works of the next decade. As an important part of the process, they receive a number of road construction plans from Nemzeti Infrastructura Fejlsztě Zrt., and then they have to review these plan documents one by one and incorporate them into their plans.

(Cover photo: MKIF)