Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center) says city authorities are hoping for an understanding attitude from residents of the capital during an €8.6-million redevelopment running from the Kalamaja district and the Old Town, and affecting the busy area around the Balti jaam rail station.
Some road users and residents have expressed confusion over restrictions put in place as work commenced last week.
Reconstructing Vana-Kalamaja is one of the biggest projects the city is undertaking this year, meaning road closures and disruption in the area are inevitable.
Svet said: "It is understandable that carrying out such large-scale construction works will affect traffic in the area and will lead to traffic changes. I hope for an understanding attitude of local residents and visitors to the region."
"The street will get a completely new look and will become much more comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists, while it will get a lot of new greenery and urban furniture too. The area around the Balti jaam rail station is also particularly important, since it is getting a new square, which will bring pedestrians up from the current tunnel to the surface," Svet continued.
Work started September 5 and is due for completion next summer.
The intersection of Nunne, which leads directly into the Old Town, and Toompuiestee (see diagram below an also gallery above) a major thoroughfare, is closed in one direction to the end of October, meaning traffic is restricted along the stretch passing the train station, while accessing the Old Town by car must be done along Suurtüki instead of Nunne.
From this week, the intersection of Soo and Vana-Kalamaja is also closed, due to be reopened October 17, Svet said.
As to which sections of road will be closed next, for how long, and what kind of disruptions can be expected, Svet said this could not be revealed months in advance and is dependent on progress of the first sections of work, conditions through the winter etc., though local residents will be kept informed of all changes, he said.
Direct mail, email, Tallinn's city newspaper and a public presentation were all avenues which had already been used for this, Svet added.
A separate, but related, project involves the overhaul of the dated county bus waiting area, adjacent to the rail station. Svet said passenger convenience and the need to minimize disruption were also being taken into account here.
The newly-refurbished Vana-Kalmaja once open will see a pedestrian friendly promenade run practically from the seashore in Kalamaja, to the gates of the Old Town, via the train station and Toompuiestee (see diagram below).
Aarchitects Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil and Kristel Niisuke of the architectural office Kavakava OÜ drew up the plans back in 2017, while city roadworks firm Tallinna Teede AS is carrying out the reconstruction.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming