Government new road plan: Four lane highways to Tartu and Pärnu by 2030 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Current two-lane highway on outskirts of Tallinn.
Current two-lane highway on outskirts of Tallinn. Source: Nordecon

Two four-lane highways are proposed for Estonia by 2030, under a new national road management plan unveiled by the government Thursday. The highways will run from Tallinn to the second- and fourth-largest towns in Estonia, Tartu and Pärnu.

The plan, adopted by the government Thursday, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, has not yet taken into account public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the construction process, though this will be done where needed to speed up the process, economic affairs minister Taavi Aas (Centre) said.

The plan supersedes earlier projections and has made cuts, reflecting changes in levels of EU funding, according to the ministry.

The new plan has put back a proposed two-level traffic intersection on Riia tänav in Tartu, however.

"Unfortunately, the state budget is limited and it is impossible to build everything at once. This is a significant crossing from the point of view of road safety and I intend to bring the construction of the Riia tänav junction earlier, by applying for additional funding," said Aas.

The new plan covers a ten-year period and also includes resurfacing as well as the lane widening projects.

Changes on the plans predecessor include an extra €10 million sum allocated to the construction of gravel roads – often found in rural areas – from next year's state budget, tripling the amount projected to be spent on this area for 2020.

The whole plan has a projected budget of a little under €280 million for 2020, a reduction of €35 million from the plan approved last year. The cuts result from changes in projected volumes to be received from the EU's Cohesion Fund, the ministry said.

No four-lane highway (i.e. two lanes in either direction) exists across an entire stretch; four-lane sections already exist on highways around the larger population centers and a few other stretches.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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