Tallinn Airport accessible by tram starting in early September
In early September, the city of Tallinn’s public transport company launched regular tram service to Tallinn Lennart Meri International Airport. The general contractors for the construction are AS Merko Ehitus Eesti and KMG Inseneriehituse AS. The finishing work in the vicinity of the new airport tram line will continue until November.
Work on extending tram line no. 4 all the way to the airport began in August 2016. The extension starts from a turning area along the Peterburi maantee thoroughfare, passes through a tunnel under the railway and Suur-Sõjamäe streets, rises through a channel to re-emerge at the surface on Keevise street and ends with a turnaround circle at the airport.
Chairman of the supervisory board of Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS, the public transport company, says the airport tram line extension is a piece of infrastructure that will make change the existing logistics in the city. “In addition to the rapid connection between city centre and the airport, it will also give Ülemiste City new development perspectives. If we take a tram line to the port and connect Estonia’s two main windows to Europe, we will have achieved a totally unique situation that will increase the attractiveness of the city as a travel destination and as a key transport hub offering convenient transit,” said Aas in extolling the possibilities in store with the completion of the tram line.
The chairman of the management board of Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS, Enno Tamm, described the construction as the most complicated and innovative of the past decades. “The establishment of the tram line was complicated by the need to have it pass underneath the railway and Suur-Sõjamäe streets. The builder faced real challenges of how to ensure that trains could continue in operation during construction. The novel solution and the heightened safety requirements made it time-consuming and expensive to execute the project, yet the result is that Tallinn has its first tram tunnel. During establishment of the 150-metre-long enclosed part of the tunnel and the 125 metres of ramp, about 10,000 m³ of limestone pulverized by hydraulic jackhammers and 6,000 m³ of soil were removed. A total of approximately 1,000 m³ of concrete was poured, plus tram tracks and load-bearing structures totalling close to 700 m³ in volume,” said Tamm in describing the completed works.
The tram lime extension was done in cooperation between the city and the state. “The new tram line, which starting today connects the airport, the principal passenger terminal for the future Rail Baltic at Ülemiste and the Tallinn city centre, is the first tangible result of the infrastructure project of the century. It is a good example of how different parties can work together to smoothly carry out projects and create a new quality in transport connections,” said the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications coordinator of the Rail Baltic project, Kristjan Kaunissaare.
The general contractor of the tram line and tunnel construction is AS Merko Ehitus Eesti and KMG Inseneriehituse AS. The opening of the approximately 700-metre-long tram track extension makes Tallinn one of the European capital cities with the easiest access to its airport. The cost of the project was EUR 12.5 million. The finishing work in the vicinity of the new airport tram line will continue until November. Landscaping work, installation of sidewalk pavements and construction of parkland will take place based on the design project for Keevise Street. The works will also continue on the open square located on the airport’s turnaround circle and the construction of the airport tram stop building and the northern branch of the Lennujaama tee. In addition, a traffic control system and outdoor lighting will be established as well.