TALLINN – From March 7, construction works will start for the first phase of the Old City Harbor tramline, causing changes in the traffic arrangement in Tallinn's city center.
The construction will begin on Gonsiori and Laikmaa streets, resulting in the closure of the outbound lanes of Gonsiori street between Laikmaa and Reimani streets and the lanes of Laikmaa street for traffic headed towards Narva road between Gonsiori street and Narva road.
Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet noted that this is the first new tramline to be built in Tallinn in five years and one of the largest infrastructure projects that Tallinn is undertaking. The new tramline will link the airport to the port area and provide a convenient connection to the bus station and the central railway station.
"However, in addition to the new tramway to be built, the entire urban area within the reach of the new tramway will also be upgraded. In particular, this concerns the Hobujaama and Kaubamaja intersection, were we will create opportunities for pedestrians to cross the road at ground level. At the same time, new green areas will be created, the intersections will be made safer and more modern for all road users," the deputy mayor said.
"Unfortunately, with such a large-scale construction, inconveniences are inevitable. We also have to take into account the simultaneous renovation of Joe and Pronksi streets in the first months of construction. However, we have also taken into account the Youth Song and Dance Festival taking place this summer as the festival brings tens of thousands of visitors to the capital," he said.
Public transport will continue to operate, but all traffic users are advised to keep an eye on the timetable changes. If possible, the city advises all road users to avoid driving in the city center during the construction period and to follow updates to the information closely.
All information regarding the construction of the tramline is accessible on the website tallinn.ee/vanasadamatramm. Information regarding the construction phases will be updated regularly.
The construction of the 2.5-kilometer tramline will involve a large number of extensive reconstruction works from the Kivisilla-Gonsiori street junction to Pohja avenue. The future tram route will take a left turn from Kivisilla street to Gonsiori street. From there, the tramline will run via Laikmaa, Hobujaama and Ahtri streets to the harbor area. Via Laeva, Kuunari and Kai streets, the route will pass through the front of the Terminal A and via Logi and Rumbi streets, the route will pass under Linnahall. The tramway will join the tramway from Mere street and Pohja avenue to the tramway towards Kopli.
Tiit Joosti, project manager at contractor AS Merko Ehitus Estonia, said the complex and large-scale project will be carried out in a consortium with KMG Infra OU. In addition to the construction of new tram tracks and a new contact network, a large number of underground communication lines will have to be built and a new street space will be created around the tramline.
"The time schedule and the schedule of activities for the project have been drawn up in accordance with the specificities of the technological process of the works, but our main aim is to minimize the overall time cost of the project and to ensure that the lives of Tallinn residents will be disrupted as little as possible," Joosti said.
"We will work in phases, so that different sections of the tramline will be built at different times. In terms of the types of works, we will carry them out according to technological logic, therefore the necessary works of the reconstruction of underground lines and communications will be carried out first. Once on the ground, the main objective is to install the tramline rails, followed by the work on the contact network. Once these works are completed, tram services on the new line will be ready by summer 2024. The installation of the tram tracks will be followed by the paving of the carriageways and pavements, the installation of traffic management equipment, bus shelters and landscaping works, which will last until the contract expires in February 2025," he added.
During the first phase, traffic will be closed from March 7 on Gonsiori street in the outbound direction from the city center between Laikmaa and Reimani streets and on Laikmaa streets between Gonsiori street and Narva road in the direction of Narva road. The next phase will start on Kai street and traffic will be closed there from March 14.
The tramline construction works, including VAT and owner's supervision, cost about 46 million euros, with 26 million euros coming from the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility.