The Rail Baltic project is being pushed through at unprecedented speeds, but enough data has been gathered to make the best decision on the final route, Heikki Kalle, an environmental impact expert with the project, has said.
“The logic behind the planning is the same [as with planning major roads]: possible routes are worked out, opinions are collected and then the whole thing is made public,” Kalle said, speaking on the ETV program “Vabariigi Kodanikud” on Tuesday.
Kalle said the project team has to be satisfied that nothing significant has passed them by, that all databases have been analyzed and all interested parties have had their say.
Indrek Sirp, who heads Estonian side of the project, said that the schedule is tight as the deadline for EU funding is close.
Public discussions on the way
Four options for the route have been proposed. Public debates will be held during the next three weeks in several communities, beginning with Maardu, where the tracks would begin. Their exact path through the town has yet to be decided.
According to Sirp, no ideal route has been found and some more dispersed villages could be cut in half as the tracks, with all necessary infrastructure, will be a total of 66 meters wide. Their impact area is 350 meters wide.
Sirp said that the track will begin in Maardu, where the cargo terminal will be located, with the next stop planned in the Ülemiste area, where the passenger terminal will be constructed.