Procurement process for one of largest Rail Baltica intersections begins

Rail Baltica infrastructure work in progress (photo is illustrative, location in Riga, Latvia).
Rail Baltica infrastructure work in progress (photo is illustrative, location in Riga, Latvia). Source: ERR

The Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) has announced a joint tender with Rail Baltic OÜ for the construction of an intersection on the Kiili-Saku municipal boundary, south of Tallinn.

The intersection will as a side-benefit improve road traffic safety on the affected highways, the authority says.

Rail Baltica is a high-speed rail link planned to run from Tallinn in the North, to the Lithuania-Poland border in the South and, while the original planned opening date of 2026 will have to be put back now, progress is being made in Estonia with some of the most important preliminary work, namely inserting infrastructure such as underpinnings in boggy ground, wildlife tunnels, fencing and, as here, intersections between the rail route and other parts of the transport network.

Rail Baltica is also known in Estonia as Rail Baltic.

The Kandru intersection will parse the interface between Viljandi tee, the Kurna-Tuhala highway, and the new high-speed rail line.

During the course of the works, a light traffic road, a cycle lane in effect, will also be built and will lead from Kangru village to the nearby Raku järv.

Viljandi tee and the Kurna-Tuhala crossroads will be made multi-level, which will ensure greater traffic safety, it is reported.

Viljandi tee will also be made four-lane, for a 2.5km stretch, and may be rerouted 300-400m from the existing carriageway.

Priit Sauk, director general of the Transport Authority, said: "As of today, construction work is already underway on many Rail Baltica intersections with highways, while in the near future the Transport Authority is to announce new public tenders for the construction of Rail Baltica road viaducts."

Meanwhile Anvar Salomets, board chair at Rail Baltic Estonia, said: "The Kangru traffic intersection near Tallinn is to be one of the largest road construction projects relating to the Estonian section of Rail Baltica, whose construction will coordinate Viljandi tee with the Rail Baltica line, and which will also directly contribute to the traffic safety of road transport."

Salomets put the estimated cost of the work at close to €23.5 million.

During the course of the works, five reinforced concrete edifices will be erected - four viaducts and one light traffic tunnel. Three of these viaducts will cross the Rail Baltica line, while one will traverse the planned four-lane Viljandi highway noted above. One of the viaducts crossing the Rail Baltica route is intended for light traffic, the authority says. 

A light traffic tunnel will be built under Viljandi tee.

The recently published construction procurement tenders will be open for bids in the second half of the summer of 2023, and according to the plans as they stand right now, a contract is set to be signed in the fall. Construction itself begins in the first half of 2024 and will be completed in the first quarter of 2026 at the latest, the authority says.

The Transport Board itself is the contractor; the board says no road closures will take place in relation to the work.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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