Initial project of Tallinn's ring road could see tunnel built under airport
Plans for the building of a tunnel under Tallinn Airport are being discussed after the city government rejected plans to construct a ringroad.
Starting from Smuuli tee and ending with Valdeku tänav, the ring road is designed to reduce the traffic in midtown Tallinn and Tartu maantee. Initial assessments show that there is a large amount of interest in the road and it would help alleviate daily congestion.
Reio Vesiallik, head of Tallinn Environment and Public Works Department, said the plan is to construct the road under the airport.
Vesiallik said: "That is one of the questions which need to be solved, if we have to build the road under the airport or behind the airport. It is currently planned to go under the runway and not behind the airport. The design is already approved by organizers and co-financiers."
Vesiallik said environmental assessments have not yet been carried out and traffic is being analysed.
Tallinn City Government has previously said building a road around the back of Tallinn Airport would reduce the usage of the road by 40 percent due to psychological reasons.
The majority of the planned Tallinn ring road will pass through Rae municipality, with the speed limit being 50 km/h, while maximum speeds on the rest of the roundabout will be limited to 70 km/h.
Priit Põldmäe, Rae municipality deputy mayor, said it is understandable the ring road should be traversed as fast as possible, but there are other factors in municipality areas.
Põldmäe said: "For an example, Tammsaare tee, where the road turns in to a street when it's between buildings, but otherwise you can drive on it faster.
"The initial designs of the project had these powerful and large two-level intersections, where the ring road would have gone under and all of the exit ramps would have been on the second level, but we did not see a need for such large objects and felt like the construction of it was fantasy and would have polluted the surrounding residential area."
Vesiallik said that it is not yet known when construction is started because only a preliminary project is currently confirmed. A main project still needs to be put together.
Rae municipality, just to the southeast of Tallinn, is growing rapidly and the municipality is also one of the largest investors into the ring road project.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste