On Thursday, March 6, the Sarkandaugava overpass over the Riga – Skulte railway line and the bicycle and pedestrian path Mangaļi – Sarkandaugava built as part of it were solemnly opened. The crossing is now open to all road users.
The construction of the Sarkandaugava overpass began in April 2020. The length of the overpass without exits is 454.4 meters. It consists of seven separate span structures in both directions and connections to Viestura prospect and Tvaika street.
“The Sarkandaugava overpass is a part of the new Riga that we are building both for today and for future generations – it is a Riga with more organized and safer traffic, where cars, pedestrians and cyclists have their place, it is a Riga where the traffic infrastructure helps to create a dynamic city. The Sarkandaugava overpass is one of the most ambitious new constructions of the traffic infrastructure in recent decades and, combined with the Eastern highway, this is an important stage in the regulation of traffic flows in Riga – both the overpass itself and the constructed intersections and access roads will significantly ease traffic, the movement of transport between Vecmīlgrāvi and the center of Riga will be faster , the approach to the port will be more convenient for cargo transport,” says Vilnis Ķirsis, deputy chairman of the Riga City Council for traffic infrastructure and development issues.
V. Ķirsis also points out that the biggest funding in the recent history of the city is currently being invested in the renovation and development of Riga’s infrastructure. Looking at all the projects as a whole, we are talking about several hundred million euros – they include significant city funds and state co-financing, as well as very significant investments from EU funds.
Jānis Vaivods, Acting Director of the Transport Department of RD, outlines the upcoming plans in the field of traffic infrastructure: “The opening of the Sarkandaugava overpass is the first piece of the puzzle that is being put into the creation of a new Riga. The next piece of the puzzle is the Eastern highway, which is scheduled to be completed in the fall of this year. Both objects together will form a transit road for freight transport, which will significantly facilitate the historical center of the city. Also, in the next year and a half, it is planned to start work on placing the third piece of the puzzle in the new Riga landscape – the construction of the Kundziņsala overpass.”
On the other hand, Kaspars Ratkevičs, a member of the board of JSC LNK Industries, the leading partner of the General Partnership “Personu apviviėnas OTC”, emphasizes that the Sarkandaugava overpass over the Riga-Skulte railway line is one of the most important infrastructure objects realized by the company in Riga and it will significantly relieve the city center of traffic jams.
“A big challenge in the project was to successfully integrate the newly built overpass into the already functioning city infrastructure. An additional challenge was the organization of the works in such a way that the railway and tram traffic would not be affected, taking into account that the work area is crossed by the roads of “Latvijas dželčesas”, private railways, and also tram tracks. As one of the most technically complex works, the construction of the only railway and tram track crossing in Latvia can be mentioned. Individual elements of this intersection were custom-made in the Czech Republic. In the structures of the overpass, the span over Viestura avenue is worth noting, which is supported by a pylon with cables over the “Rīga-Skulte” tracks. In the construction of the transmission, industrially produced, pre-stressed reinforced concrete beams of individual order are used, which were concreted on site at the facility,” says K. Ratkevičs.
As part of the transfer, the bicycle and pedestrian road “Mangaļi-Sarkandaugava” was built, as well as the first tunnel in Riga with a divided space for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The construction of the overpass in Sarkandaugava was carried out by the general company “Personu apiviena “OTC”, in which three builders have joined forces: SIA “Binders”, AS “LNK Industries” and “LT betons”. The total construction costs of the Sarkandaugava overpass reached 44 million euros.