Tallinn ring road designs complete as funding issues delay construction

Traffic flow on the northern section of the Keila bypass.
Traffic flow on the northern section of the Keila bypass. Source: InfraBIM

The Estonian Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) has completed its preliminary designs for the Valingu-Keila section of the Tallinn ring road and the southern Keila bypass. However, there are currently no plans to apply for a construction permit due to a lack of funds. For the same reason, the four-lane (2+2) Tabasalu-Juuliku 2+2 will also not be built in the near future.

The Tallinn ring road, which stretches from the eastern edge of the capital to Keila, has already been built as a four-lane (2+2) road for almost its entire length. The only section where this has not yet happened is the section between Valingu and Keila, while work between Kanama and Valingu is currently ongoing.

The Estonian Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) has now completed a preliminary design for the section between Valingu and Keila, which will be 2+2 with a speed limit of 110 km/h. The section between Valingu and Keila will also be 2+2. The single-carriageway junctions, which currently cross the highway will be removed and the Valingu-Jõgisoo junction is to be  replaced by a separate level crossing.

However, the Transport Administration does not currently have plans to initiate the construction permit procedure for the Valingu-Keila and southern Keila bypass, as it is not clear when the work would begin due to a lack of funds.

"As the construction date for the Valingu-Keila section is currently unknown and the project is awaiting a decision regarding funding, there is no need to rush ahead with the construction permit," Transport Administration spokesperson Erki Varma told ERR.

"We will plan the next activities, such as land acquisition, and basic preparations for the project, depending on the year the project is expected to be realized, according to the next road maintenance plans," Varma added.

The estimated total construction cost of the Valingu-Keila section  of the road is €35 million.

Along with the construction of the Valingu-Keila section, there are also plans to build a bypass, which will direct heavy goods vehicles south of Keila. This project, too, with an estimated cost of €10 million (excluding VAT), is currently on hold until a more suitable time for the work to take place.

Plans also exist for a new northern Keila bypass, which will branch off the ring road at the Valingu junction and cross the viaduct to the north on Alajaama tee.

The Paldiski highway reconstruction

Preliminary designs have been completed for the part of Tallinn-Paldiski highway, which includes the Tähetorn-Harku section and Harku junction. The stretch between Tähetorn and Harku will be rebuilt as a four-lane (2+2) road.

While there had been plans to convert the Juuliku-Tabasalu link road between Saku-Laagri tee and Harku-Rannamõisa tee into a 2+2 road, that project has now been modified.

However, the Juuliku-Tabasalu section will be converted into a two-lane (1+1) road, rather than a 2+2, during the first stage of construction.  The construction of roundabouts, footpaths and cycle paths in the Laagri viaduct area with will also not take place during this initial phase.

Lack of funding is also an issue in this case. The Juuliku-Tabasalu section was not included in the recently approved road maintenance plan, which identifies which major road work projects will be undertaken from 2023-2026, as well as details related to their financing.

"Unfortunately, the state finances available will not allow for the completion of the Valingu-Keila, Keila bypass or Juuliku-Tabasalu sections in the near future. For this reason, there are no plans to issue construction permits for these sections at the moment," Varma said.

Over 16,000 vehicles travel along the Tähetorn to Harku stretch per day. By comparison, the Kanama-Valingu section of the Tallinn ring road, which is currently under renovation, has a daily traffic volume of 11,500 vehicles.

The estimated cost of the work on the Tähetorn-Harku section, including VAT, is €16.4 million. €13.9 million of this will come from the European Commissions' Cohesion Fund (CF) for 2021-2027. According to the current plans, the work is due to take place in 2024-2025.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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