Tallinn port area developer plans underground tunnel

the intersection of Põhja puiestee and Soo tänav.
the intersection of Põhja puiestee and Soo tänav. Source: ERR

A real estate company operating in the Rottermann neighborhood and the vicinity of the city harbor in Tallinn proposes rerouting car traffic from Ahtri tänav to the tunnel.

"Six lanes of traffic with 80,000 vehicles a day passing through the Old Town, city center, and port are not ideal for a modern and thriving city. Why should they pass on the ground?" asked Martin Kolga, the chief executive officer of US Real Estate, a company owned by the entrepreneur Urmas Sõõrumaa, in an interview with the Estonian daily Ärileht.

Kolga explained that their proposal is to divert traffic from the port and the Rimi store area at the intersection of Põhja puiestee and Soo tänav into the underground tunnel.

The construction of the tunnel could be financed with a fee on vehicles entering the city center, Kolga said.

"As this is a major investment, we have advised the city on how to pay for it; for example, consider Stockholm's congestion fee or entry tax. Whether it is €20 or €30 a month for each vehicle entering the city center, we could build several tunnels and significantly improve traffic flow with that money and a loan," Kolga said.

The plan has been discussed earlier

The construction of a tunnel in the harbor area has been already discussed earlier in relation to Tallink Group, AS Infortar and the City of Tallinn's plan, which was made public in February 2020, to develop the City Hall area.

In 2020, Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart said that if the City Hall were to become a major conference and concert center, the organization of the most packed events there would cause a traffic collapse in the city center that could only be solved by the construction of a tunnel.

"This has already become an issue and there are few alternatives; traffic must be routed underground," the mayor said.

Kõlvart said that the tunnel could carry traffic from the vicinity of the city hall form the side of the port to Ahtri tänav, or even further.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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