Tallinn roadworks late fees symbolic at best

Pronksi-Raua and Pronksi-Gonsiori intersections.
Pronksi-Raua and Pronksi-Gonsiori intersections. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A part of construction work being done in the heart of Tallinn will not be completed on schedule, and while contracts prescribe late fees, the sums, ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of euros, are symbolic compared to project costs stretching into tens of millions.

Renovation work on Vana-Kalamaja tänav in Tallinn started nearly a year ago and was initially meant to be completed in July. The tender went the way of Tallinna Teede Aktsiaselts for €8.6 million, while recent information suggests the work will not be completed before September.

Thorough reconstruction of Jõe tänav and Pronksi tänav that started last fall and has long disrupted city center traffic will also take more time than planned. The work is being carried out by AS KE Infra and OÜ Viamer Group for €14.3 million.

Heigo Jänes, deputy head of Tallinn's Urban Environment and Public Works Department, told ERR that an additional district cooling pipe will have to be built in Raua tänav and underground communications laid under Tartu maantee, which were added to the initial contract.

"In connection with the discovery of the Härjapea River bridge and work to conserve it, underground communications projects for the intersection of Pronksi and Narva maantee needed to be adjusted. The necessary work will postpone the Kadriorg tram service disruption by another six working days," he said.

The city's representatives have previously said that additional work necessitated by the bridge will cost the city an extra €16,800 plus VAT.

Jänes described changes to deadlines as commonplace in road construction, adding that they can be caused by differences between real circumstances and project solutions, archeological finds, design errors, additional requirements etc.

"It sometimes turns out that utility networks are not where they're supposed to be on plans or their technical parameters are incompatible with the project. The project needs to be changed and additional material sourced in such cases, which can cause delays," Jänes explained.

Contracts also prescribe late fees for violations, which include not finishing the work in time. The capital's representative said that the smallest fines are in hundreds and the largest in tens of thousands of euros.

Jänes added that all sides nevertheless try to avoid such situations and the city remains in close contact with contractors.

"A contract extension does not constitute a violation. It took around three months to carry out archeological work at the Vana-Kalamaja tänav site, which the contractor was not aware of when the contract was signed," he said.

The city is also reconstructing the Tondi intersection into an overpass, which work is estimated to take a year and a half and cost €7.2 million.

Traffic restrictions caused by construction work of the Liivalaia tänav district cooling system should be completed by the start of the schoolyear in September.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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