Tallinn city stumps up more funds for Reidi Road work

Reidi Road route (in red) from the harbour area (west) to Kadriorg).
Reidi Road route (in red) from the harbour area (west) to Kadriorg). Source: Google Maps.

It started as a relatively straightforward road link, developing Tallinn's neglected harbour area (see map) and easing traffic congestion between the City Centre and Kadriorg districts, yet the Reidi Road project seems ill-starred from the outset.

Public procurement proved arduous, environmentalists mounted a challenge in the circuit (second tier) courts, and the project, championed by Tallinn mayor Taavi Aas (Centre) even appeared as an example of bad town planning in UK daily The Guardian.

Indeed, the multiple hordes of live (and potentially dangerous) World War Two ordnance found along the couple-of-kilometres-long route, which dogged progress throughout autumn, suggest someone was trying to tell us something.

Difficult birth

The EU funds the bulk of the costs; nevertheless Tallinn city council says it needs to contribute more to complete work.

The original €30 million estimate rose to €40 million, and Tallinn city council earmarked €4.3 million of its own money for the project; the Port of Tallinn, a beneficiary of the road link, contributed 10% of that figure.

The original tender process had to be cancelled (in December 2017) due to uncompetitive private sector offers.

EU the main funder

Eventually a new bidder emerged, Verston Ehituse, and the contract signed off in June 2018 for just under €40 million.

€24.2 million of this was EU (European Cohesion Fund) money.

However, this figure was still inadequate, with the city upping its input to €12.3 million, the Port of Tallinn to €3.3 million (ie more than the original 10%), following an approved supplementary budget.

Other Reidi Road criticisms include its seemingly multi-purpose nature, with road traffic travelling at 40 km/h alongside recreational facilities to be installed along the route.

Remains of a Crimean War-era artillery battery were also unearthed during the work.

The road was due to open in October.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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