Over €21 million will be spent this year on infrastructure and construction for Rail Baltic and approximately €60 million next year, the Chairman of the Management Board of Rail Baltic Estonia told ERR on Thursday.
Construction of dozens of viaducts and other infastructure on the Rail Baltic railway, which runs from Tallinn to the Latvian border, will start this year.
Tõnu Grünberg, Chairman of the Management Board of Rail Baltic Estonia, said the first seven facilities have been selected so far, and construction contracts are planned to be announced in the second half of this year.
He said so far the designs have progressed furthest in Harju and Rapla counties and five viaducts will be built this year.
In Harju County, the construction of the Saustinõmme viaduct will continue, and the next objects will be the Kurtna road and Künka road viaducts in Saku municipality, which will be built in the spring of 2021 at the latest.
In Rae municipality, the Rail Baltic track intersects with Tartu highway. The construction of the road viaducts of the adjacent Assaku and Põrguvälja roads is planned for the autumn of 2020 and construction should start in the spring of 2021.
The Rapla-Varbola highway overpass in Rapla County will be completed at the end of 2020.
The first eco-products of the Rail Baltica project will also be built in Rapla County. According to today's plans, the procurement of the Urge and Loone green bridges, which allow animals to cross the tracks, will be announced in the autumn of 2020, so construction work can begin in the spring of 2021 at the latest.
No major construction contracts will be announced for infrastructure in Pärnu County this year, but the relocation of high-voltage lines will continue.
"Since most processes are time-consuming, we do not do different jobs in turn, but in parallel where possible - in addition to design and construction procurement, land is being acquired, potential environmental risks are mitigated, travel and cargo terminals are designed and other necessary development activities are carried out," said Grünberg.
By the second half of 2021, the construction of Rail Baltic will have started in all three counties: Harju, Rapla and Pärnu counties. From 2023, when the construction of the mainline begins, the investments of the Rail Baltica project in Estonia will also increase to several hundred million euros per year.
The track, which runs through Estonia, will continue on to Riga and Kaunas before joining up with the Polish railway system at the Lithuanian border. When it is built it will be possible to travel from Tallinn to Warsaw by train.
Editor: Helen Wright