Estonia, Investments, Legislation, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 24.01.2019, 02:44

Saaremaa bridge toll would be EUR 8 per car for locals

BC, Tallinn, 02.02.2018.Print version
According to an estimate, the toll for the use of the bridge to Saaremaa would be 17 euros per car, and eight euros per car for residents of the islands, businessman Raivo Hein said at a meeting with locals in the town of Orissaare in Saaremaa, informs LETA/BNS.

Hein, whose plan is to build the 500-million-euro bridge to Muhu island with private money, expects to raise 100 million euros on the Estonian market, regional newspaper Meie Maa said.


The island of Muhu and Saaremaa lying to the west of it are connected by a road dam.


"When the first round is done, we will go to investors to get the remaining 300–400 million euros," Hein said. The estimated payback period of the bridge is 20 years.


"The whole people of Estonia must get a share of the profit, because it is the owner of the bridge," the businessman added.


According to Hein's plan, a subsidy of the government would help keep the bridge toll largely on a par with the present price of ferry tickets. The toll depends on three or four criteria, including the price of the bridge and the size of the government subsidy, which is expected to total 11–12 million euros, slightly more than ferries are getting at present.


With such prerequisites, the toll would be 17 euros per car and eight euros per car for residents of the Saare municipality. Unlike with ferries, there would be no charge per passenger.


Where a survey commissioned by the government estimates that traffic intensity will increase by 12% in the first two years after the bridge is completed, Hein said that their projection suggests a rise of 10% in the first year and increases in the following years, with a stabilization due by 2035.


Hein also highlighted the irregularity of passenger flows characteristic of the operation of ferries, which bring 200 or so cars to Muhu island at a time during the high season, causing congestion at local stores. With a bridge the traffic flow would be 94 cars per hour, divided evenly.

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