Minister of Economic Affairs Kadri Simson (Center) said that her ministry would analyze the potential cost of construction as well as maintenance of a bridge from the Estonian mainland to the islands of Muhu and Saaremaa.
Simson said that the cabinet discussed the matter with the businessmen that came out with the most recent proposal to build the bridge.
“The Ministry of Economic Affairs has been given the task to carry out an analysis of the cost of construction and maintenance of the bridge,” Simson said. “If without a more thorough analysis the cost is estimated to be EUR 500 million and a subsidy of EUR 800 million needed, then if the construction gets more expensive the initiators would likely have greater expectations towards the state as well.”
The ministry will carry out the construction and maintenance cost analyses as well as a new estimate of the project’s socioeconomic impact, Simson added. All are to be completed by March next year.
Businessmen Raivo Hein and Raivo Kutt, along with a number of interested investors, are hoping to start building a bridge across the Suur Vain strait between the island of Saaremaa and the Estonian mainland already in 2020 if the government approves of the idea. The project would be completed in three years and cost an estimated EUR 500 million, according to Hein.
Crossing the bridge would cost travelers roughly the same amount of money they currently pay for a ferry ticket, Hein said. The initiators’ calculations include a hefty state subsidy both for the construction of the bridge as well as for its later operation and maintenance. (ERR/Business World Magazine)
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