News portal Delfi has put together aerial images and videos which bring home how extensive roadworks in central Tallinn really are. Much of the disruption to the capital's quality of life has been going on since the spring time, or before in some cases.
Two major intersections in central Tallinn are closed this week: Hobujaama intersection, near the Viru Keskus shopping mall, and the intersection of Jõe and Narva mnt, just a couple of blocks away.
In fact, these areas have been subject to disruption for many weeks already, though usually limited amounts of traffic could get through.
The Jõe-Pronksi North-South route is being extensively remodeled, including subterranean infrastructure upgrades, and the work there has been going on for months already, while the Laikmaa-Hobujaama stretch is necessitated by a tram extension to the Old City Harbor area.
This has not only disrupted traffic but hampered even pedestrian and cycle travel and led to large swathes of sand-and-gravel building sites where there had once been roads, as well as having led to some frayed tempers in the summer heat.
This has to be added to ongoing and planned roadwork projects elsewhere in the capital, including at Liivalaia (installation of pipelines by Utilitas), in the vicinity of the Balti jaam train station (refurbishment of Vana-Kalamaja) and the intersection of a rail line, tram line and roads in the Tondi region, ironing out a rather idiosyncratic traffic configuration there.
That all these projects have come at once has been put down to budgeting reasons as we enter the next EU budgetary period. The city's government also argues that Tallinn traffic is somewhat lighter in summer as schools close and many residents clear out to the countryside, go on vacation etc.
Having all the upheaval in one go rather than spread out less intensively, but for a longer period of time, and the claimed benefits of the work once it is finalized, have also been put forward as arguments in favor of the road works, which in any case the public is powerless to do anything about.
Pictures can say a lot more than words of course, and the Delfi article here does just that (link in Estonian).
Editor: Andrew Whyte