Tallinn's Vana-Kalamaja street development plans suffer setback

Design of the new Balti Jaam station (building to the right) square.
Design of the new Balti Jaam station (building to the right) square. Source: Kavakava

Tallinn's plan to completely renovate the Vana-Kalamaja Street, joining it with the Old Town and renovating the Baltijaam bus station area have suffered a slight setback after it came out that a solution offered may not work out in practice.

The problem arises from the concept contest's winning entry, called "Kasvulava", and provided by the architects Kavakava.

The Kavakava solution envisages the Baltijaam area together with the bus stop zone being renovated, and the main station's building and its surroundings being extended. The area just to the north of the Baltijaam in Kalamaja has seen extensive redevelopment in recent years, including a large indoor market complex which has replaced the former, partly outdoor market.

According to the Kavakava plan, buses would stop and start in the same way they do in the main Tallinn Bussijaam, with a platform system they would reverse out of, head of the Tallinn Transport Department, Andres Harjo, told ERR.

"This problem already concerned the design of the bus square because it will be smaller. The solution foresees traffic similar to the Tallinn Bus Station, where buses reverse from the platforms. But there's a big difference between the county lines and city lines, there are different solutions," Harjo said.

The North Estonian public transport center drew attention to the problem whose letter arrived at the Tallinn Urban environment and Public Works Department.

According to the estimation of the department, a large part of the new proposals are basically changing the whole concept of the project and taking them all into consideration will create a need to design the project's positioning plan. 

The head of the department, Ain Valdmann told the Transport Department that the new designing terms have been applied for the reversing round of the buses. 

Valdmann told ERR that the issue will be discussed with the Transport Department and there is no reason to worry.

Valdmann and Harjo will be meeting on Tuesday, July 13.

At the same time, Valdmann wrote in the letter that the Vana-Kalamaja street project is dependent on foreign investment and the condition is terminating the project by 2023.

"The state support service center established a deadline for applying for the finance for June 30 and the application was submitted on that day. Changing the project solution largely will result in losing the funding," Valdmann said.

Valdmann added in the letter that the Transport Department to check the notes sent to the project solution's main part.

The construction project of the Vana-Kalamaja street is finished and at the end of May, K-Project submitted an application for a construction permit. 

It is planned to organize a construction procurement for finding the contractor for the reconstruction works in the second half of the year, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Kalle Klandorf (Center), told ERR. 

The Vana-Kalamaja street will be renovated, the project will prefer pedestrians and cyclists. The Baltijaam building and the area between the bus parking lot will extend. 

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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