TALLINN – At Thursday's meeting of the government, Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas presented the government with an interim report on the establishment of the Estonian portion of Rail Baltic.
According to the interim report, investments, research, and planning and design works were carried out via Rail Baltic in 2020 for nearly 21 million euros. In 2021-2023, costs will amount to 223 million euros, of which construction costs will amount to nearly 150 million euros.
In 2020, the Parnu County spatial planning procedure was updated, the construction of the Saustinomme viaduct was completed, construction tenders for three construction items on the main track were launched, 91 land plots necessary for construction were acquired, procedures were launched to acquire nearly 170 plots of land, and two financing agreements were signed to finance the project under the Connecting Europe Facility.
In 2021, archaeological surveys related to Rail Baltic, the feasibility analysis of the dry port, and design and planning works of the Parnu and Ulemiste passenger terminals and their surrounding areas, as well as other design and planning works will continue.
Among other things, design work will be carried out on all three sections of the main track in Estonia: Harju-Rapla, Rapla-Tootsi and Tootsi-Ikla.
Work to relocate Elering's high-voltage power lines in Parnu County will continue and public tenders will be announced for the relocation of gas and high-voltage transmission lines at 13 locations. The detailed spatial plan for the Parnu maintenance point, the repair of the Lelle-Parnu section of the 1,520 mm railway for the transportation of materials for Rail Baltic and the design of the tram connection to Tallinn's Old City Harbor will be completed.
In 2021, detailed spatial plans and design of rail Baltic's local stops will be launched. Construction work will begin on the main track on Tagadi Road, on the viaducts of Kunka Road and on the Loone wildlife overpass, along with public procurements concerning five construction items of the main track.
Tapping into the European Union's Recovery and Resilience Facility and structural funds is planned for the construction of the buildings of the Ulemiste and Parnu terminals, two traffic hubs, local stops and the Old City Harbor tramline.
According to a survey conducted in April 2021, 65 percent of the Estonian population supports the construction of Rail Baltic, and 12 percent do not have a definitive opinion. Seventy percent of respondents see the railway as having a positive impact. Support for the project among the population has remained above 60 percent since April 2019, compared to 53 percent in January 2018.