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Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars

Development of areas along Rail Baltica line will require investments worth EUR 300 million

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Rail Baltica, RB Rail, Oļegs Burovs, Tālis Linkaits, infrastructure, projects, investments In order to implement infrastructure development projects along Rail Baltica line in Riga, it will be necessary to secure investments up to EUR 350 million in the next ten-year period, as reported by Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs.

«Rail Baltica project has enormous potential. In the next 50 to 100 years we are unlikely to experience some other infrastructure solution that will have such a large impact on Riga residents’ lives. However, for this potential to surface, all involved sides – both government representatives, the city and residents – have to sit down and look for the best possible solutions,» said Burovs.

Riga City Council notes that on Friday, 24 January, there was the first local-planning discussion, which was attended by representatives of ten NGOs, AS RB Rail and LLC Eiropas dzelzceļa līnijas experts, as well as Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits and Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs.

During the discussion, experts and NGO representatives discussed Rail Baltica line from the Central railway Station all the way to Daugava. It is planned for the next meeting to take place in a month.

«Rail Baltica’s integration into Riga’s infrastructure is a very important topic. This is one of the most important if not the most important project in Riga and the entire country in the last decade. It will significantly change Latvia’s and Riga’s face, the transport system and habits, as well as the way we live, work and move around. This is why it is important to take into account both the desires of Riga’s residents, as well as short and long-term needs. We will not see another such opportunity to change the city centre and its surrounding areas in the next 20-30 years. I am happy to see interest from the municipality to participate in this process. There are many aspects that are on schedule and many ideas can be implemented,» said Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits, participating in the discussion of local planning activities.

Riga is prepared to finance the transformation of Rail Baltica’s surrounding territories. However, it is clear city budget finances will not be enough, stressed the city council’s chairman.

For example, in order to consider Riga Central Railway Station as the central Baltic transport hub and integrate the railway station into the city to provide residents a modern and convenient infrastructure, it is necessary to invest close to EUR 180 million. It is necessary to invest this amount in ten years, dividing into three portions. The capital city can invest about EUR 25 million out of EUR 180 million from its budget. It is currently unknown where the rest of the amount may come.

The total investments necessary to pay for Rail Baltica infrastructure in Riga may reach EUR 300 – 350 million in ten years.

«Without these investments we cannot imagine having a modern and people-friendly urban environment that equally respects all traffic participants – from pedestrians to passenger trains. Without these investments Rail Baltica will remain just a railway project with unused potential,» said Burovs.

The biggest changes that may come thanks to these investments will be concentrated around the central railway station: no more tunnels (all pedestrian traffic will be on the surface; a new street under the railway (Elizabetes Street’s extension all the way to Turgeneva Street); a new pedestrian cyclist bridge over Daugava Riga and cycling paths network connection to the railway station; modern parking places for bicycles; 13 January Street as a boulevard; reconstruction of Gogoļa Street hub between the Central Railway Station’s southern square and reconstruction of the central market; reconstruction of Spīķeri street; new public transport stops in the area around the Central Railway Station; reorganization of transport traffic using one-way streets.

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  1. Mmmhmm says:

    And so it begins… Riga City Council trying to grab more money for projects that have already been funded.

  2. Zerry says:

    For how many years the RB project have been going without plans who will finance Riga center and airport changes. I have seen plenty of animated videos how those ideas would look like, been in many meetings regarding RB – and none of them was presented any reasonable or sensible financing ideas. Why?

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