TALLINN – Although the City of Tallinn's budget for next year has amounts earmarked for the construction of several tunnels, the city has reckoned with the prospect that not all of them can be completed at the same time and, rather, wants to find out with tenders which ones can be built in the near future, Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet told public broadcaster ERR.
Tallinn's 2023 budget includes a financial allocation for the construction of the Tondi multi-level junction, which has been in the planning for several years and where the road and railway crossing will be built with the road running under the railway. Long-planned tunnels are also to be built under the railway for pedestrians and cyclists on Endla street near Kristiine Keskus shopping center, on Paldiski Road, between Kotka and Tehnika streets, and in Paaskula.
In addition, a number of tunnels along the Rail Baltic route in the Ulemiste area will be built together with the state.
No construction tenders have been announced yet. The one closest to a tender is the Tondi project, but it is not yet clear if, what and when will be done next, Svet told ERR.
According to the deputy mayor, the city wants to announce the procurements to find out who will place tenders and at what price. The city government believes that announcing several procurements simultaneously can also lower the price. There are no plans to start building several tunnels at once, however.
Transforming the Tondi railway crossing into a two-level crossing has been planned for years, and in fact Tallinn wanted to start the work already this year. According to Svet, the construction tender is to be announced next week. An amount of 3.5 million euros has been earmarked for this project in next year's budget. Construction is expected to take a year and a half and cost eight million euros. How much time the endeavor will actually take will become clear once construction has started, he added. Work will not begin before the end of next summer.
There are also plans to finally build pedestrian tunnels on both sides of Endla Street near the Kristiine shopping center. The city has a building permit, but a land use dispute is holding up progress, as a few square meters of the Circle K gas station plot would have to be used during construction.
In addition, the construction of several tunnels in the Ulemiste area is planned, but these will be built together with the state and probably at different times.