Work on a stretch of Via Baltica in Southwestern Estonia has actually run ahead of schedule in spite of force majeure incidents, mainly relating to heavy rainfall, and the project, originally scheduled for completion in January 2025, will finish in summer 2024 as things stand.
The section of road runs from Pärnu to Uulu, Pärnu County, and forms part of the Via Baltica, the E67 European route.
Infrastructure construction company Verston Ehitus is conducting the work, which is ahead of schedule.
Verston Ehitus project manager Magnus Martinson said: "There is less construction work going on, so we have come here with greater capacity and pushed through and planned more of our activities."
"In this way it is possible to build faster. We have already opened up the entire length of the new road. We still have half of the road partly unsurfaced, but that asphalting work is underway and at present, at the Uulu traffic intersection, installation of the last layer of asphalt is already underway too," Martinson went on.
The Transport Administration (Transpordiamet) says it is satisfied with the pace of the work. "From the administration's perspective, I would say that things have been very good. In the space of 14 months, a major part of the planned solution has already been completed. More than 60 percent of it has also been implemented financially, meaning to say the works have been completed to that extent," Roger Voll, project manager at the Transport Board's construction department, said.
"The total project cost is €35 million," Voll added.
The 10km Pärnu-Uulu section comprises two road viaducts plus three tunnels, a significant change on the road as it was, and a safety improvement – the main raison d'etre for the work, in fact.
Visually speaking the picture is impressive as well, and those who have not had the need to travel from Pärnu to Latvia at any time recently, could now do so just to broaden their horizons.
The only setbacks in the entire project was a small accident and heavy rain which caused some damage. This will require some fixing and some resurfacing, Martinson said, though the cost is not yet known – the company is covered by insurance, he said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Ester Vilgats.