Transport Authority wins court ruling in Little Ring Road design case

Tallinn's Little Ring Road is slated to pass under Tallinn Airport by tunnel.
Tallinn's Little Ring Road is slated to pass under Tallinn Airport by tunnel. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Estonian Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) has won court cases against two appeals, which challenged the design criteria for Tallinn's Little Ring Road. In one of the two cases, an appeal has now been launched. Meanwhile, the preliminary design for the ring road has already been completed.

The design criteria for Tallinn's Little Ring Road were challenged in court last year. One of the  plaintiffs was development and management company Mave Varahalduse OÜ and the other was a private individual. The Estonian Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) has now won both cases, with the courts ruling that the design conditions are legal, Kaidi Sulg, a lawyer in the Transport Administration's legal department, told ERR.

The preliminary design for the ring road has now been completed. It is co-financed by the City of Tallinn, Rae Municipality and Tallinn Airport, with the road planned to run under part of the latter's territory. All three have also approved the preliminary project plans.

The aim of constructing the road is to divert more traffic from Tallinn and make the congested Tartu maantee part of the road safer.

Planned as a 2+2 highway, the newer ring road is planned to run from Smuuli tänav to Viljandi maantee. The designs also include pedestrian and bike paths as well as the necessary bridges, overpasses, bus stops, pedestrian tunnels and a tunnel, which goes underneath Tallinn Airport.

The design speed for Little Ring Road is 80 km/h, meaning the speed limit along most of the road would be 70 km/h. Along some sections, such as those falling within Tallinn city limits, the speed limit would be reduced to 50 km/h.

The length of the tunnel will be approximately one kilometer. By way of comparison, Estonia's current longest tunnel is on Järvevana tee in Tallinn and stretches 320 meters.

Diagram of the planned Little Ring Road at its intersection with Tallinn-Tartu Highway. Source: Hendrikson & Ko

According to the traffic model for the Little Ring Road project, in 2030, when the project is due to be completed, between 21,000 and 25,600 cars would be expected to use the road each day.

In 2060, this is predicted to rise to between 32,500 and 40,500 cars per day.

In spring 2021, the planned tunnel was estimated to cost approximately €100 million.

Tallinn's Little Ring Road is not included in the current national road maintenance plan, which is valid until 2026. That means that there is currently no state funding earmarked for the project.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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