Tartu northern bypass to be completed by 2029

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The planned route for Tartu's northern bypass. Source: Transpordiamet

An estimated €100 million northern bypass is planned to be built around Tartu by 2029, diverting traffic from the city center, the Transport Board has said.

Currently, when traveling from the north along the Tallinn-Tartu highway it is not possible to avoid driving through Tartu city center to cross the Emajõgi River.

The Transport Department plans to start the construction of the Kärevere bypass road, the expansion of the Kardla-Tartu section and the construction of the Tiksoya bridge in 2025. These areas are marked on the map above.

Approximately 6,000-7,000 cars pass through this section per day, and this number could double in 20 years, Urmas Mets, the Transport Board's head of strategic planning for the south, told ERR. 

"The planned road section passes through the Alam-Pedja nature reserve and the Kärevere nature reserve. Obviously, this will also affect private property. There are a number of issues that require a comprehensive solution. New transport interchanges, when presented on the drawings, will be much larger compared to the current situation", Mets said.

Mets hopes these issues will be solved as the goal of the national road management plan is to finish the construction of the bypass by 2029.

Deputy Mayor of Tartu Reno Laidre said many people who drive through the city do not stop and the number of vehicles damages the urban environment.

"The city of Tartu has planned its traffic in such a way that for many years there were two ring roads - the inner ring road and the outer ring road. Today we are preparing a new master plan for the city for 2040+, and as a result of the environmental impact assessment, it has become clear to us that the inner ring cannot be built because it is not possible to cross the Natura nature reserve. Therefore, it becomes even more important to take transport out of the city center with the help of the outer ring," he said.

So far, no funding has been allocated to the plan which is estimated to cost €100 million.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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