Recently reconstructed Sillamäe main street already showing signs of wear

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A crack in a road in Sillamäe. Source: ERR

The Kesk tänav of Sillamäe saw extensive resurfacing works in 2020 but the central street of the city in northeastern Estonia has already began decomposing. While the cause of cracks is still unknown, poor construction is suspected.

That roads tend to decompose over time comes as no surprise, but they usually last until the end of their warranty period, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Sunday.

The central street saw construction in November of last year, but there are already issues on the section crossing Sõtke River.

According to Sillamäe deputy mayor Aleksei Stepanov, the issues are not dangerous to drivers and pedestrians. "It is not a situation where we must react quickly. As soon as weather allows, we will deal with it," he said, adding that the companies in charge of the renovation and is supervision have been notified.

Ain Kendra, a road engineer, told ERR that the cause of large cracks in the road likely stems from poor construction, which was amplified by the amount of water nearby.

"These are clearly joint cracks, longitudinal cracks. The asphalt is set down in tiles and these tiles must connect. Seems the locations of the tile connections are on the driving route. This can never happen, meaning this is a question of technology violation," Kendra explained.

The expert said the near future will show how extensive the issue is - whether it limits itself to the asphalt or could the issues be caused by incorrect foundation.

"If there are alligator cracks in a few months, it is clear that the cause is frost heaving and then there is nothing else to do but replace the heaving material," Kendra added.

N&V, the company behind the reconstruction works, confirmed that the job was completed in accordance to existing norms and regulations and all damaged road sections will be repaired once the weather allows it.

Regardless of the issues in question, the city plans to begin the second stage of construction this year.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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