Busy road junction gets major overhaul

Large-scale reconstruction of a road junction in Tallinn is expected to smooth traffic flow considerably in the south-east of the Estonian capital. Focused on Ülemiste Junction, the work will include a handful of surrounding roads.

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Current traffic lights are to be replaced by new roads, tunnels and viaducts. The project will benefit both drivers and pedestrians, while reducing the environmental impact of local traffic.

Extensive new infrastructure

The Ülemiste Junction is one of the city’s most important and complex transport hubs. It is also a serious bottleneck, since its serves as a bypass between the city centre and Lake Ülemiste, while connecting eastern and western districts of Tallinn without passing through the centre. The intersection also carries traffic between the city centre and Tallinn Airport, plus most of the traffic heading towards the city’s southern suburbs on the Tartu Highway and further afield to southern Estonia.

To tackle this bottleneck, a two-year project will build a direct connection between Peterburi Road and Filtri Road, Tehnika Road and Järvevana Road. A range of new infrastructure will replace the junction’s existing traffic lights. This includes the construction of two tunnels for motorised traffic – one connecting Peterburi Road with Järvevana Road, and another left-turn tunnel to connect Peterburi Road with Ülemiste Road.

A viaduct is to be built across Tartu Highway, linking the old and new parts of Peterburi Road. Ülemiste Junction will also get new crossings, a total of 7.5 km of new roads with varying numbers of lanes, and new or reconstructed intersections. For light (non-motorised) traffic, there will be three new tunnels, a new 5.35 km road and a 1.65 km reconstructed road. Also planned are new road markings and traffic signs, not to mention changes to road lighting, telecommunication lines, and electricity, water and gas supply pipes.

Faster and safer traffic

When completed, the project should significantly improve travel conditions in both directions of Tartu Highway (a TEN-T road). This will speed up access to this road and Tallinn Airport, while smoothing the flow of traffic between the city’s eastern and western districts.

Less fuel will be burnt in local traffic jams, reducing road users' costs and related environmental harm. The project will also make this road section safer, especially for pedestrians. There are plans for further road improvements in and around the junction, spread over two more phases.

Draft date