RMK improved the accessibility of Soomaa floodplain meadows 27.09

This year, RMK built two new bridges and a number of new roads in Soomaa, allowing better access for mowing and animal grazing.

Located on the border of Soomaa, Räksi bridge was on the verge of collapsing. The bridge has since been fully renovated. “As previously, the load-bearing parts of the bridge are made of concrete. The bridge deck is made from a combination of wood and metal to improve its durability,” said Priit Voolaid, RMK’s Nature Protection Specialist when asked why the new bridge was not wooden. “We also wanted to make sure that floods would not destroy the bridge.”

Räksi bridge on the border of Soomaa is now almost completely renovated

The bridge over the Halliste River and the reconstructed Halliste Road allows people to better access and maintain floodplain meadows. There are 110 hectares of meadows on the left bank of the river. The bridge allows many households to cross the river easily without having to go around.

A new bridge was built over the Lemmjõgi River in Soomaa. The previously used footbridge with a lighter metal structure was worn out and no longer safe to cross with mowing equipment and hay. A 143-metre long section of an access road was also reinforced and a culvert was built. The goal of the construction work was to improve the accessibility of a 36-hectare area of semi-natural communities. Some of them are already being mowed, while others still need to be restored.

“We need safer crossings to organise restoration work in Soomaa,” Voolaid said. The campfire site of the Mulgi meadow is also located near the new bridge. Thanks to the expansion of the bridge ramp, it is easier for visitors to park their cars.

A new bridge was built across Lemmjõgi

RMK also built a river crossing for the Kuusekäära floodplain as well as a road on the Osju floodplain. Thanks to the new road, mowing equipment has better access to the 46-hectare area of floodplains near Raudna River that is often flooded and difficult to maintain. “Even though mowing machines were able to access the meadow, it has been difficult to bale and transport hay,” Voolaid said.

The reconstruction of Räksi bridge and Halliste Road cost 176,209 euros. The contractor was Nordpont OÜ. The construction of Lemmjõgi bridge and the Mulgi meadow access routes cost 239,923 euros. The contractor is Nurme Teedeehitus OÜ. The construction of the crossing for the Kuusekäära floodplain and the road on the Osju floodplain cost 90,515 euros. The contractor is O.K. Veod OÜ. The European Union Cohesion Fund funded 85% of the construction works.

On 30 September, visitors can see the new sites in Soomaa with RMK and the representatives of the construction companies. The tour starts from the bus stop in Tohvri at 9:45 in the morning. We will then move on to the crossings of the Kuusekäära floodplain and the road on the Osju floodplain. The tour ends with Räksi bridge at 13:00.

This year, RMK will build approximately 270 kilometres of forest trails for all users. Margus Reimann, Head of RMK Silviculture Division, said that the company plans to build forest trails and parking spots for hikers, roads and bridges to manage nature conservation as well as ditches and roads to improve forest management. In total, RMK will spend 15.3 million euros for road construction. Areas with the most new roads will be Ida-Virumaa (64 km), Viljandimaa (47 km) and Läänemaa (39 km).

Further information:
Priit Voolaid
RMK Nature Protection Specialist
+372 5681 0925

Margus Reimann
Head of RMK Silviculture Division
+372 502 1510