EU funds hiatus sees reduced Tallinn road reconstruction work in 2020

Roadworks during the Reidi road project last year.
Roadworks during the Reidi road project last year. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tallinn road reconstruction in 2020 is likely to slow down on the previous year, in part due to a lack of EU cohesion funds as the union enters a new budgetary period.

Many major road projects in the capital, including Reidi road and the Ülemiste junction, used EU support. It is currently not clear whether and how much funding is to come from the next budgetary period, according to deputy Tallinn mayor Kalle Klandorf (Center).

"We can't tell how big [EU] co-financing will be in the future," Klandorf told ERR.

"Normally, the share in Tallinn has been between 15-20 percent, but those objects have been quite large, so that 15 percent amounts to tens of millions of euros. At present we can build using 100 percent of our own funds in Tallinn, but that of course makes a much smaller amount than if we utilised EU money," Klandorf said.

Reidi road construction was covered by EU cohesion funds to the tune of 85 percent, Klandorf reiterated that smaller projects were on the horizon for this summer.

"We are trying to reconstruct Tulika street (in Kristiine-ed.), followed by Kunderi and Roosikrantsi streets (in the city center). We will try to convert such city center streets," he said.

Klandorf added that state funds should also be available for the larger projects.

"We need to improve Peterburi road, which is in a very bad condition. The estimated cost of this reconstruction is €50 million. There is also work to be done on Tervise street, but this design is still in its infancy," Klandorf said, also noting that design work comes first, with funding issues, with actual large scale work to follow when the EU funding picture becomes clearer.

As reported on ERR News, the City of Tallinn plans reconstruction work on Jõe and Pronksi streets this year, including wider sidewalks and cycle lanes, and this will be followed by the larger Liivalaia street in future, though Klandorf said he could not say exactly when the latter project would happen.

Work on Tähetorni street, which links Paldiski highway and Kadaka road, on the southwestern outskirts of Tallinn, began last month.

Discussions are underway at present for the EU's 2020-2027 budgetary period. Many net contributor nations do not want the budget go beyond 1 percent of GNI, though European Commission President Charles Michel's figure currently stands at 1.074 percent. Michel has suggested more money going to less developed regions in lieu of a larger budget, in the aftermath of Brexit, which will leave a hole of around €15 billion to be found over the longer term, following the departure of the second-largest net contributor to the budget.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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