Pärnu County's new Tori Bridge ready, other highway work ongoing

Tori Bridge, Pärnu County.
Tori Bridge, Pärnu County. Source: ERR

A major highway bridge in Pärnu County has recently been completed, though it is one of only several transport-related projects ongoing in the region.

Other work still in progress includes the North-South Via Baltica's (European route E 67) Pärnu-Uulu section, and the soon-to-commence Sauga-Pärnu stretch of roadwork. Both of these are just outside Pärnu city.

The Tori Bridge (pictured) forms part of a national highway, meaning the entire €4 million that was needed came at the expense of the state; local government did not need to provide the funds.

The bridge was opened amid great fanfare this week, as AK reported.

Tori village head Lauri Luur said: "In this respect, we still have to give a big thank-you to the state that the bridge was finished nicely and in the way that it has been," adding that the local community should also be thanked for insisting that a decent bridge be built in their neighborhood.

Elsewhere in Pärnu County, roadworks are still extensively ongoing.

Transport Board (Transpordiamet) Director General Priit Sauk said "The development of roads and the construction of major projects is a very lengthy process; the preparation takes years and years."

"For example, while the decisions on the Pärnu-Uulu section were made in the spring of 2017, we see that construction is only now going on on a very large scale today, while next year we hope to be ready. The second route between Pärnu and Tallinn, via Pärnu-Sauga, is at procurement stage. We hope to break ground there this year, also," Sauk went on.

Construction firm Tref Nord carried out the Tori Bridge work, which started in April 2022 with the demolition of the old bridge, built in 1956. As a result, crossing the Pärnu River at that point was not an option, until the new, 140-meter-long bridge started to open to traffic in November – though only partly so, with more work still following, through to the recent, formal opening.

Estonia's state roads criss-cross over approximately 1,000 bridges nationwide, though a new bridge build of this scale is around a once-per-decade event, Priit Sauk added.

The next item on the list in Pärnu County is the Sindi-Lodja stretch of highway, to the South of Pärnu city. The design-to-opening time period will be about two years, AK reported.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', reporter Ester Vilgats.

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