The largest road construction project in Narva has opened but, due to Russia's war in Ukraine, it is no longer needed as the transit of cross-border goods has almost ground to a halt.
The 5-kilometer transit road on Rahu and Kerese streets took over two years to complete. Resurfacing the road and building new intersections and a huge roundabout cost €15 million.
The new road allows large vehicles crossing the Russian-Estonian border to smoothly and safely pass through the city. But there are few drivers today.
"We hope that wars and other situations will end in the near future and that our transit traffic and relations with our neighbors will improve," said Erki Kõlli, senior specialist of the Narva Development and Economic Board.
Local residents are permitted to drive on the road until traffic is restored, but some say they try to avoid the route altogether.
"The reason is the abundance of traffic lights. I understand that the emphasis was on transit when it was designed, but today transit is dead. I don't understand why so many are needed. I try not to drive there at all," said Dmitri Gussev, a resident of Narva.
The reconstruction was based on a study carried out 10 years ago which shows a traffic density of 14,000 cars per day at that time. As a result, traffic lights were built at intersections, and some are very close together.
The city government said it will take several months to set up the traffic lights.
In February 2024, Russia will temporarily close car traffic through the Ivangorod border crossing and traffic will decrease further.
Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera