Estonia's most expensive road project of the year completed in time

Võõbu-Mäo section of Tallinn-Tartu Highway upon being opened to traffic.
Võõbu-Mäo section of Tallinn-Tartu Highway upon being opened to traffic. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

Friday marks the official deadline for the completion of the new Võõbu-Mäo section of Tallinn-Tartu Highway. Despite the process having been dogged by construction material price increases and supply difficulties caused by Russia's war in Ukraine, Estonia's most expensive road project of the year, at a total cost of €58.7 million, was nonetheless completed in time.

The Transport Administration confirmed that despite the supply difficulties and increase in the prices of materials, main contractor GRK Infra remained within budget. The Estonian authority will, however, have to pay the builders nearly €2 million for the increase in the cost of bitumen and metal.

GRK Infra construction manager Kaido Ivask told ERR that all that remains to be done is the installation of variable message signs (VMS), but these will be installed in mid-December due to a delay in their delivery. The company did submit a request to the Transport Administration to compensate the price increase on bitumen and metal, he added.

Viktor Kisseljov, director of the Northern Unit of the Transport Administration's Infrastructure Administration Division, said what's next is the handover and acceptance of the work and, if needed, the addressing of any shortcomings.

Kisseljov noted that he is very satisfied with GRK Infra's work, noting that the company flexibly resolved all issues. Nonetheless, the state authority won't be compensating the overrun tied to the increase in materials prices in full.

Next year, the Transport Administration will have one tenth less money for road construction than they did this year.

Road management plan director Tarmo Mõttus explained that the brunt of roadwork will be shifting to Pärnu County next year, however roadwork is planned elsewhere in the country as well.

A total of €64.5 million has been budgeted for road construction next year, marking a 10 percent decrease from this year's total. Factoring in the increase in the prices of materials, this means that overall road construction capacity will be slashed by one fifth on year.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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