Tallinn cannot launch Peterburi tee reconstruction this year

Peterburi tee.
Peterburi tee. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Construction price hikes and material shortages have disrupted the capital's road construction and reconstruction plans. The cost of reconstructing Jõe tänav and Pronksi tänav should become clear in the coming days, while it is already clear that reconstruction of Peterburi tee will not begin in 2022.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart admitted that not all planned objects will be launched this year as construction prices have gone up considerably. He added that bids to reconstruct Jõe and Pronksi streets, the deadline for which is April 11, should serve as a good indicator of the extent of price advance.

Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet also said that the bids for reconstruction can be used to calculate a preliminary list of objects that can be launched this year. Kõlvart said that the city will probably need a supplementary budget to alter the list and cost of construction projects.

"We do not know whether road construction will become more expensive by 15, 25, 100 or 150 percent. Once we know the extent of the hike, we can have a list of projects that will be launched this year by late spring," Svet said.

The city initially planned to reconstruct Peterburi tee in 2022-2024. "But it is already clear we will not be able to keep that pace. We also cannot get the entire project done in one go. One option is to launch reconstruction closer to the city center, between Majaka and Väike-Paala streets," Kõlvart said.

Vladimir Svet said repairs of the first section of Peterburi tee will coincide with the construction of the Rail Baltic passenger terminal for which access roads will be built. The deputy mayor said it is sensible to finish the two projects at the same time.

The city wants to take a time-out with the section between Väike-Paala tänav and the Väo intersection. Firstly, owners of businesses and plots bordering Peterburi tee have made a host of proposals for access roads, and we also have no clarity regarding the Smuuli tee intersection solution yet.

"It is no secret that tunnels and overpasses make for a complicated matter both in terms of their aesthetic suitability and the fact they end up affecting the final cost of projects the most. The final answer will depend on the economic outlook and construction prices," Svet admitted.

Construction of the so-called small Tallinn ring road is also unclear as it should start with the Smuuli tee extension and join Tartu maantee after passing under the airport through a tunnel. The new tunnel would run for a kilometer – three times the length of the existing Järvevana tee Ülemiste tunnel.

"Our initial goal was to complete the Peterburi tee renovation by 2025, which is what we promised Tallinners at elections. To what extent we can stick to this plan will become clear in the coming months," the deputy mayor said.

Svet emphasized that price advance does not mean money will be pulled from street maintenance. "Even though the changeable weather of the outgoing winter really did a number on roads, recent years' maintenance means the situation is surprisingly good," the deputy mayor claimed.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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