Tallinn authority considering major Lasnamäe route closure to allow filming

The Laagna Road cutting at the Kadriorg end of the route.
The Laagna Road cutting at the Kadriorg end of the route. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Tallinn Transport Authority is weighing up closing Laagna Road, a major thoroughfare in the most populous district of the capital, for up to one month, to facilitate filming a major movie.

Warner Bros. is due to make some of the movie, a spy thriller directed by Christopher Nolan (U.K.), in Tallinn in June and July, and wants to use Laagna Road for extensive filming. The transport authority is now thoroughly analyzing the impact of closing the route for that period, and solutions to transport issues that would arise, before making its decision, according to a Tallinn City Government press release, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Laagna Road experiences heavy levels of public, as well as private transport, which would require diversions, new bus routes, and ensuing longer driving routes.

"Since both buses and other vehicles would accumulate on more minor streets in one queue, this will inevitably lead to congestion," the press release stated.

"Both traffic regulators and public transport users will need help locating the new stops," the announcement continues, noting that access for ambulances and Rescue Board (Päästeamet) vehicles will also need to be considered.

Ain Saarna, city government public relations director, confirmed that the Tallinn transport Authority is thus set to analyze the situation in the city, including potential filming locations, with the topic to be discussed by the city government next week.

"The topic is too complicated to get a quick decision this week," Saarna continued.

"Everyday life in the city must also be viable during the making of this major film," he added.

As to the question whether Warner Bros. Would foot the bill for Laagna Road's closure, Saarna said that this would be decided on once the decision to close the road had been made and would be dependent on getting the right type of contract.

Saarna also told ERR that a substantial stretch of the road would be required for filming, not just 100-200 meters, though again it was too early to discuss the exact length and location(s).

The movie, Tenet, due for release in 2020, is to star John David Washington (Malcolm X, BlacKkKlansman), Robert Pattinson (the Twilight movies) and veteran British actors Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh, amongst others.

Laagna Road runs from Kadriorg to the outskirts of Lasnamäe and is one of two major arterial east-west routes, along with Peterburi Road. Part of its route is cut into the limestone on which much of Tallinn sits.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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