RIGA - Construction of an overpass of the Rail Baltica railroad on Lacplesa Street in Riga will be completed in 2023, Kaspars Vingris, chairman of the board at Eiropas Dzelzcela Linijas, the Rail Baltica project implementer in Latvia, said at the opening of the construction site on Thursday.
This is the third Rail Baltica construction site in Latvia, but this one is different as the project envisages reconstruction of a part of Riga in line with the city's development plans.
After reconstruction, the section of Lacplesa Street at the intersection with Rail Baltica railroad will have four lanes, as we as a bike lane and a sidewalk under the overpass, said Vingris.
Andis Linde from BeReRIX General Partnership, which includes Belgian construction company BESIX Group, Latvian construction company Rere Buve and Italian construction company Rizzani de Eccher, emphasized Rail Baltica overpass across Lacplesa Street was the first Rail Baltica overpass to be built.
Extensive construction work, such as removal of the railroad embankment, will take place at night. Lacplesa Street will not be closed to traffic entirely during the project, but one of the lanes will be closed periodically over a period of about 12 months.
Laying the foundations for the new Riga Central Station will begin already in the fall, said Linde.
Girts Bramans, head of the Strategic Cooperation and Communication Department at RB Rail, said that since November 2020, when the first Rail Baltica construction site opened at the Riga Central Station, construction of a Rail Baltica section had also begun at Riga International Airport, construction of an intermodal terminal in Kaunas had been completed, while in Estonia, construction of one viaduct had been completed and contracts for construction of a few more viaducts had been signed.
An agreement has also been reached on financing from the European Union's multi-annual budget and the Connecting Europe Facility, which will continue to provide significant financing for Rail Baltica as one of the priority projects at the EU level, added Bramans.
Riga Vice-Mayor Vilnis Kirsis (New Unity) emphasized that the Rail Baltica railroad was a "project of the century" for Riga and that Riga would gain the most from the project as compared to Tallinn and Vilnius.
Rail Baltica will bring Tallinn and Vilnius closer to Riga. In the future, various international events and concerts will mostly take place in Riga, consolidating Riga's status as a Baltic metropolis. In addition, the embankment dividing the central Riga in two separate parts for more than a hundred years be removed, reuniting the central area of the city, said Kirsis.
BeReRix will build an overpass for standard-gauge railroad alongside the existing railroad. Part of the existing embankment will be replaced by a wall, while the railroad embankment near the Riga Coach Terminal will be replaced with an overpass, also connecting neighboring parts of Riga that are currently separated by the embankment.