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Tallinn should have enough money for snow clearing this year

A snow plow truck clearing snow in front of the Kaarli Kirik in Tallinn last winter.
A snow plow truck clearing snow in front of the Kaarli Kirik in Tallinn last winter. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Tallinn city authorities have said that the capital has €31 million for road clearing in its 2023 budget, which is more than ever before and should suffice for snow removal efforts until the year's end.

"We've spent €24 million on road cleaning and clearing by November and are not looking at a deficit based on current forecasts," said Tarmo Sulg, deputy head of the Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department.

Tallinn's road clearing budget grew from €18 million in 2022 to €31.1 million this year, the city government's press service said.

Sulg said that it takes around €6.4 million to keep pedestrian and bicycle paths clear in the winter, with the city government in charge of keeping two-thirds of all such roads clear of snow in Tallinn.

"We have also earmarked €2 million for dealing with the aftermath of extraordinary weather effects and moving snow out of the city," he said.

170 machines engaged in clearing snow

Sulg told ERR radio news that plows have either two or five hours, depending on traffic density, to clear a particular stretch of road of snow and deice the road surface.

Two-thirds of the city's light traffic paths (for pedestrians and cyclists) need to be cleared in four hours, the rest in eight. The maintenance cycle for smaller district roads and areas between buildings is 12 hours.

The city has three main contractors, around 100 pieces of machinery are responsible for road maintenance, plus manual snow clearing crews for taking care of narrow places, such as bus stops and pedestrian crossings, Sulg said.

Tallinn's districts operate another 70 machines that keep sideroads and sleeping districts clear of snow.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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