Businessman's Saaremaa bridge project to reach government in spring
Businessman Raivo Hein, who recently floated the idea of a bridge from the mainland to Saaremaa, said after a meeting with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) on Tuesday that the government will have a look at the idea in spring, regional newspaper Meie Maa reported.
Hein said that Ratas remained non-committal, but that the government was ready to go along with the next step.
He added that Ratas told him Minister of Economic Affairs Kadri Simson (Center) would introduce the matter to the cabinet within the next three months, and that a political position would be worked out there.
"Now everything depends on the decision makers. You have to take into account a thousand minute details, and you can't ride rough-shod over anyone. We need to make a good decision that is good for everyone, and also for nature," Hein told the paper.
"You don't want to waste your life on petty things. If at some point it becomes clear that things aren't moving as they should, you have to look for a way around it. We're taking it one step at a time," the businessman added.
Hein has said that the €500 million bridge project will not require government funding at all, but that it would be carried by private investors as well as Estonian and Nordic pension funds and loans.
Shipper TS Laevad moved 1.66 million passengers and 0.71 million vehicles between the mainland and the islands of Muhu and Saaremaa. According to Hein's project, the bridge would be maintained by raising crossing fees of about the same price range as a current ferry ticket.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
Source: BNS, ERR