Gallery: First day of harbor tram link work leads to traffic gridlock

From Tuesday, work starts on the second stage of the construction of the new tram link which will run to the Old City Harbor in Tallinn, which spells traffic disruptions due to the complexity of the task.

Hobujaama will be closed, while A. Laikmaa, its continuation (see map) will be closed in one direction, with the street still open traffic moving northwards towards the Narva mnt and Hobujaama intersection, which itself remains open.

A. Laikmaa / Hobujaama runs north to south and bisects Narva mnt. Source: Google Maps.

Tallinn reconstruction scheme Source: Tallinn City Goverment

The No. 27 bus line is most affected by the changes.

By rush hour Tuesday morning, lengthy traffic jams had developed in the city center, and pedestrians had to be careful in negotiating the gridlock.

The City of Tallinn had addressed the issue, issuing a press release, ERR reports, advising both drivers and those on foot on how to negotiate the building site area, to follow traffic management directions and to remain safe near heavy equipment.

Bus routes are affected through to May 31, with the following service numbers taking diversions: 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 18, 18A, 20, 20A, 23, 29, 31, 34, 35, 38, 40, 44, 46, 48, 51, 55, 60, 63, 67 and 68.

The diversions mean that temporary bus stops will be in place as follows:

The Viru stop is placed on Pärnu mnt, for buses in the direction of Narva mnt., while buses numbered 14, 18 and 18A terminating there, just past the Estonian Drama Theater (Draamateater). In other words these routes do not depart from the Viru Center subterranean bus station, as they had done, until the work is finished.

The temporary Viru stop can be utilized to catch bus number 5, 20, 20A, 36 and 73.

The Estonia bus stop is located on Theater Square (Teatri väljak), where bus numbers 3, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 17A, 23, 31, 54, 55, 67 and 68 can be caught.

The Kaubamaja stop, on the street of the same name is available for catching the number 1 and 3 trolleybuses and bus numbers: 2, 11, 42 and 46.

Buses 3, 31, 46 and 55 can be caught on the opposite side of that street – on the Kaubamaja department store side.

Bus lines 1, 29, 40, 48 continue to depart from the Viru Center bus terminal, while these routes will continue to terminate on A. Laikmaa street, along with county line buses – the only change with these services is slight route differences.

The Tallinn city bus, trolleybus and tram timetables are here.

Additionally, Kunderi tänav, which runs parallel to Tartu mnt, will be closed to car traffic for a month.

Disruption had already begun early last month with the preliminary work, while roadworks elsewhere in central Tallinn – nearby on Jõe/Pronksi streets and also the redevelopment of Vana-Kalamaja street, on the other side of the Old Town, have exacerbated this.

The planned tram line will link the Old City harbor to the future Rail Baltic Ülemiste, and the 2.5km link forms a part of the Rail Baltic high-speed rail project and its supporting infrastructure.

The EU Recovery and Resilience Facility is to contribute €26 million to the project.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi

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