Minister: Smaller projects more reasonable for highway development ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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The recently opened Kose-Võõbu section of Tartu maantee. Source: Transport Administration

The state will continue developing highways section by section as continuing with developments using large-scale procurements is not reasonable, said Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center).

"The capacity of the procurement depends much on how much has been prepared. I do not mean only projects but other preparations as well. There are detail plans, land questions, environmental questions - a lot of things to discuss. If we expand the capacity of one procurement, there is a danger of it getting stuck on a small detail. For example, matters of land and environment, leading to the whole project getting suspended," Aas told ERR.

He added that if a long highway section is developed, the reorganization of traffic becomes much more complicated.

Aas said that over the next two years, there are more opportunities to include European Union funding. "We cannot allow a situation to develop where prices will continue to rise because there are so many projects in development. It has to be well coordinated. So I think, us needing funding for the projects over the next few years - it has to be well considered, if it is done," the infrastructure minister said.

Raido Randmaa, head of the Transport Administration's highway maintenance service, said the development of a four-lane Tallinn-Tartu maantee in one single project would raise the development's price instead. If there is a foreign investor interested, their possible cheaper price would result in lower tax revenue for Estonia.

"If we raise the capacities in one swoop and start developing them, the market would certainly heat up, raising all prices. We would need a lot of resources in terms of people and technical solutions. After that prices would drop massively on the market. So stability is reasonable for these investments, for human, technical and financial resources. We can grow that steadily, but there is no need for large drops and rises," Randmaa said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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