The Tartu-Riga roundabout viaduct was opened to traffic
21 November / In Tartu, the Riga roundabout viaduct was opened to traffic last week, with travel becoming smoother, faster and safer than before, especially for road users travelling in the directions of Tallinn-Võru and Võru-Tallinn.
At the Riga roundabout, traffic was moved to three levels. In addition to the viaduct, light traffic tunnels were also opened, moving pedestrians and cyclists to a separate level from car traffic.
‘With the opening of the new viaduct, we are reducing traffic jams, streamlining the flow of traffic, and also significantly raising the level of road safety. From now on, the paths of pedestrians, cyclists and cars will no longer cross on the same level. Therefore, starting today, Estonia’s most accident-prone intersection is a thing of the past,’ said Janar Tükk, Director of the Infrastructure Administration Division at the Transport Administration.
According to the piece, it is also important to note that the 607-metre long double-lane viaduct is one of the longest in recent years.
Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas said that the Riga roundabout is a very important traffic junction, which must be easy and safe to cross via car, bicycle and pram. ‘I am very happy that the solution being completed takes into account all road users. The highway that was moved to the viaduct ensures the faster crossing of the intersection for cars and, at the same time, enables the creation of better and safer cycle and pedestrian tracks for pedestrians and cyclists,’ added Klaas.
According to Ergo Paas, Project Manager at GRK Eesti, main contractor for the Western Tartu Bypass, traffic jams should become a thing of the past after the viaduct is opened for use. ‘While drivers used to spend ten minutes or more at rush hour at the Riga roundabout, they will now be able to cross the viaduct at a speed of 70 km/h in a matter of seconds,’ said a very happy Paas regarding safe traffic junction.
Including entrances and exits the two-lane viaduct is 607 metres long, 10.7 metres wide and reaches a height of 7.5 metres above the level of the carriageway (54 metres above the surface of the Emajõgi River). Construction required 6,200 cubic metres of concrete, over a million kilograms of steel, and 60,000 tonnes of aggregate placed between the retaining walls.
The Riga roundabout will be fully opened to traffic at the beginning of December, with finishing work and the installation of fences yet to be completed. Along with the viaduct, decorative lighting will also be installed, with final completion set for February 2023. The completion of marking and landscaping will take part partially in the spring.
Last changed 21.11.2022