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Tallinn deputy mayor: Major junctions will not close completely next year

The Narva maantee - Laikmaa tänav - Hobujaama tänav intersection in Tallinn.
The Narva maantee - Laikmaa tänav - Hobujaama tänav intersection in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The disruption caused by roadworks in the center of Tallinn this summer, must not happen again next year, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center) told ERR radio. According to Svet preparations are already well underway to ensure similar mistakes are avoided when construction work resumes in spring.

Currently, with the ice and snow covering Tallinn's roads and construction sites, roadworks in the capital are on pause until spring. Any work that is being carried out at the moment in the center of Tallinn at present is only minor and involves the tram contact network, traffic lights and street lights. According to Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet, this is being done now in order for larger works to get underway more quickly once the spring comes around.

"There is still an entire construction season ahead of us with the construction of the Vanasadama (Old Harbor) tramway, and we want to, shall we say, learn from the experience we had this year," said Svet.

"Certain modifications to public transport routes and traffic will have to be put in place next year in connection with the construction of the tramway, and so we want to be better prepared for them. To make it clearer for road users regarding how to get around. To make these journeys simpler for public transport users. So that pedestrians have more convenient and logical routes," said Svet.

Svet said that the reality of what people can expect in the center of Tallinn next spring and summer will become much clearer towards the end of winter. It is certain however that the major intersections in the city center will no longer be completely closed.

"The intersection of Hobujaama and Kaubamaja should no longer be blocked on such a large scale. Instead, we are looking at connecting the tram lines at Linnahall, as the Vanasadama (Old Harbor) tram will merge with the tram on the Põhja-Tallinn line. The works there will certainly cause inconvenience to tram users and other road users at some point," said the deputy mayor.

Major works are also planned for Hobujaama tänav and Laikmaa tänav. Nevertheless, the overall picture for road users should be more positive next year than it was this summer.

"We certainly don't expect the situation to be as difficult as last summer. We want the changes that are coming to be less of a headache and less of an inconvenience for people," said Svet.

Work stays within budget

The extensive reconstruction work in Tallinn city center has, so far at least, remained more or less within the planned budget.

"We haven't had any significant budget overruns. But what usually happens with construction in the city center is that the picture that emerges once the road has been excavated does not always correspond to the maps and diagrams and plans that we have, and as a result there are unexpected changes," said Svet. He pointed to the example of Härjapea bridge discovery, which led to costs of €20,000 and necessitated a week's break in the construction works.

"Of course, there were other, smaller changes that perhaps didn't attract so much attention, but which actually required quite a lot of effort from the builders and very fast action. However, overall we have stayed within the city's budget," said the deputy mayor.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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