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Ülemiste traffic junction is the Concrete Construction of the Year 2013

On March 12, on World Concrete Day, the Estonian Concrete Association announced the winners of the Concrete Construction of the Year 2013 competition. The Concrete Construction of the Year 2013 is the reconstruction of the Ülemiste traffic junction. The construction of the Ülemiste junction was carried out by the consortium consisting of AS Merko Ehitus Eesti, AS Merko Infra, Tallinna Teede AS and AS Ehitusfirma Rand & Tuulberg.

Concrete Construction of the Year 2013 – the reconstruction of the Ülemiste crossing.
First award of the competition: AS K-Projekt (chief engineer)
Category Contracting party: Tallinn Municipal Engineering Services Department
Category Structures: OÜ Estkonsult, OÜ Järelpinge Inseneribüroo
Category Constructor: AS Merko Ehitus Eesti, AS Ehitusfirma Rand ja Tuulberg
Category Concrete: AS Betoonimeister, AS Rudus
Category Formwork: AS Peri, OÜ Doka Eesti
The Estonian Association of Civil Engineers award: Estkonsult OÜ constructors’ team – for the tunnels’ project of Ülemiste junction.

In the Estonian context, the Ülemiste junction is a large-scale and complex infrastructure – the most massive intersection solution, preparing the ground for the Ülemiste district developing into the most important transport hub in Tallinn and Estonia (Rail Baltic, tram connection with the airport, etc.).

Structurally, the most challenging part of the junction was a 680 metre road tunnel which runs underground for 320 metres. To construct the tunnel, works were constantly carried out in a zone with a high level of surface water, the lowest point being 16 metres below the surface of Ülemiste Lake. Another important structure included in the Ülemiste junction is a 150 metre overpass. The overpass is built on boxed girders with varying heights, made of reinforced and post-tensioned concrete.

Facts about Ülemiste junction:

  • 7.5 km of new roads and paths, and 1.2 km of rebuilt roads and paths, total area of asphalt pavement laid – 155,000 m2
  • Two tunnels for motorised traffic, 150-metre-long overpass
  • Three tunnels for bicycle and foot traffic, built using a technical design similar to the one for the carriageways
  • 5.35 km of new non-motorised routes for bicycles and pedestrians, 1.65 km rebuilt, width ranging from 2m to 4.5 m
  • The dedicated site crew was 20 strong. There were also many pipe layers, utility line and concrete pouring crews, with 250 workers on site on peak days.
  • 12 hectares of green space established as part of the project, with hundreds of trees and thousands of shrubs planted
  • As part of the procurement for the groundwork for the junction project, the following was built:
    • a storm drain system and close to 2.5 km of underground water drainage canals and mains ranging up to 16 metres below ground in places, leading from Ülemiste to Kadriorg
    • a 110 kV overhead line was connected to buried line, which was required for building the Tartu highway overpass and cycle and pedestrian paths

The Concrete Construction of the Year competition, this year held for the 14th time, was launched to inform the wider public of the many amazing uses of concrete and to recognise those who have used this traditional building material – versatile and mouldable concrete – to bring their ideas to life. This year, nine entries were submitted to the competition. Concrete constructions as well as structures and processes utilised in them delivered to the contracting party in 2013 were eligible for entry in the competition.

The jury of the Concrete Construction of the Year 2013 competition included representatives of professional construction associations – Johannes Pello from the Concrete Association of Estonia, Raivo Kotov from the Union of Estonian Architects, Indrek Peterson from the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs, Heiki Meos from the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers, Enno Rebane from the Association of Construction Material Producers of Estonia, Andres Saar and Aadu Kana, chairman of the jury, from the Estonian Association of Architectural and Consulting Engineering companies, but also representatives of building magazines – Eva Kiisler from Ehitaja magazine, Rain Uusen from Postimees daily and Finnish architect Maritta Koivisto from Betoni magazine.

The Concrete Association of Estonia, promoting the use of concrete as a traditionally Estonian building material, is a union with 48 companies, organisations and private persons as its members.

The Association of Construction Material Producers of Estonia is a union of entrepreneurs engaging in the production and sales of building materials, and has 64 companies as its members.