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Major traffic restrictions expected in Tallinn's Kesklinn this summer

Laikmaa tänav, Tallinn.
Laikmaa tänav, Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Severe traffic restrictions will be in place in Tallinn's Kesklinn this summer as construction of the Old Harbor tramline continues.

Work on the tramline is only halfway through and will take place this spring and summer. Trams should return to their usual schedule in the autumn.

This summer, Ahtri tänav, between Linnahalli and Fat Margaret, and Mere and Põhja boulevards will be affected.

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) told ERR the council has learned from last year's experience but heavy restrictions will still be in place this year.

"We still have quite a lot of construction to do. We've got two very difficult sections ahead of us. The first is the other direction of Ahtri tänav. Last year one side of Ahtri tänav was closed, now the other side will be closed for a while. And along with that, Utilitas is planning to upgrade a whole series of lines there, so that we will not have to close the street a second time later on," said Svet.

The new tram route. Source: Tallinna LV/ERR

"The second very difficult, perhaps even more difficult point arises in connection with the fact that we need to connect the Old Harbour tram to the tram network to the line going to Põhja-Tallinn, which means that there will be quite a lot of construction work going on there at Fat Margaret. There will definitely be traffic and public transport restructuring. The most difficult thing about building a tramway is that it is on a concrete base and concrete needs time to solidify, and you just need to wait," he added.

Tram start time will be delayed

Tramline 2 will work on the new route between the harbor and the airport and was expected to launch this summer, but the date has now been pushed back.

"We're revising the construction schedules a little bit, because for us it is not a goal in itself to have a new tram running. It is important for us that the construction of the tram network does not disrupt people's lives and city traffic as much as it did last summer," Svet said.

The official did not want to speculate on the exact date.

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

"It would be very nice to be able to say that it will be in place by September 1, but construction work is construction work and contracts with contractors are contracts with contractors, so negotiation before publication," he said.

This year's traffic renovation scheme will be announced at the end of the month.

"We understand that last year was a very difficult year for people on the roads, and we are trying to account for those mistakes as much as possible, but still, construction is construction and it will still have an impact," the deputy mayor said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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