Tallinn's extraordinary snow conditions reserve may go untapped this year

Tallinn snowplows and road maintenance vehicles.
Tallinn snowplows and road maintenance vehicles. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Tallinn city government's reserve for extraordinary snow conditions and snow clearing, set at €500,000 this year, may end up going untouched altogether this year due to a lack of snow.

"A reserve is established in the city budget for extraordinary snow conditions and the clearing of snow from roads, which this year is set at €500,000," Tarmo Sulg, deputy director of Tallinn's Urban Environment and Public Works Department told ERR. "Should there not end up being any extraordinary snow conditions, then it is very likely that this reserve will remain untouched."

Regardless, the city still concludes contracts for the ensuring of road conditions, for which year-round as well as round-the-clock readiness and, if necessary, the conducting of maintenance procedures is necessary.

"The City of Tallinn has year-round contracts signed with maintenance companies for road maintenance and upkeep, the goal of which is to ensure the fulfillment of the conditions outlined in a directive of the minister of economic affairs and infrastructure," Sulg said, adding that this maintenance does not stop at just the clearing of snow.

In December, for example, roads in Tallinn were gritted, or salted, on a total of 15 days, or every other day on average.

"Tallinn's climate is very changeable during the winter months thanks to the sea, which significantly impacts humidity and generates a lake effect, which under certain climate conditions can cause slippery conditions and unexpected snow showers," Sulg explained. "Should temperatures drop to or near zero degrees Celsius, and the forecast is for below-freezing temperatures, then the contracting partners of both the Urban Environment and Public Works Department as well as city district governments have to preventively grit roads with chloride and granite grit as well as be prepared to respond quickly in accordance with the situation."

According the city official, in case of risk of slippery conditions, road maintenance vehicles are required to be out treating major hills and the capital city's main roads within half an hour.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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