Estonian national road 1

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National Road 1 shield}}
National Road 1
Põhimaantee 1
Route information
Length213 km (132 mi)
Major junctions
Major intersections Ülemiste


ToNarva border with  Russia
Counties Harju County

 Lääne-Viru County

 Ida-Viru County
Highway system

Tallinn-Narva maantee (Tallinn-Narva highway, alternatively Põhimaantee nr 1, unofficially abbreviated T11) is a 212-kilometre-long[1] west-east national main road in Estonia. The road is part of the European route E20.[2] The road forms a major transport west-south transport route between Russia and Europe. The highway starts in Tallinn and passes a number of major Estonian cities and towns, namely Rakvere, Kohtla-Järve, Jõhvi and Sillamäe. The highway ends in Narva on Friendship Bridge, with a border crossing to Russia over the Narva river.

The road has long been a historically vital link between West and East and has seen heightened attention throughout much of history. The road was considered especially important by Soviet leadership, with constant large-scale construction and improvement undertaken. Modernisation and widening has continued after re-independence. Full-length motorway status is a long-term goal of the state, alongside similar plans for Tallinn-Tartu and Tallinn-Pärnu.[3]

In 2021, the highest traffic volumes were around Tallinn, with the AADT being around 29,000. These are among the highest figures in Estonia. The figures rise again around Jõhvi, hovering around 12,000.[4]

The road is a dual carriageway for 86.6 kilometres. The main part is between Tallinn and Haljala (till km 89.9) being the longest in Estonia. The remainder can be found between Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi (km 156.0-163.2). There are plans to expand the entire highway to dual carriageway by sometime after 2030.[5] Currently, sections in cities are being made free-flowing, with two intersections in Sillamäe being made grade separated in 2016 and 2021. Also, U-turns on the road are being demolished to improve safety and upgrade the road standards.[6]


The earliest written records of a Tallinn-Narva road are from the early 17th century, when a Dutch delegation described their journey from Tallinn to Russia. The route taken was Tallinn–Valkla–Kolga–Toolse–Kudruküla–Narva, the trip took five days. Between Narva and Voka, the route matched the St. Petersburg-Riga post road. The 1780s saw the road rerouted southwards due to the hard-to-navigate Toila valley. The new junction for Tallinn-St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg-Riga postal roads became Jõhvi.[7]

Until the 20th century the highway was a narrow and twisty track, but the advent of the automobile saw construction works on the more important sections of the highway, with gravel roads and permanent bridges built. The works were undertaken as imperial statute labour.[7]

The independent Republic of Estonia was only able to repair select sections of the road, even though it was considered a first-class highway. The situation improved with a new highways law in 1929, with statute labour withdrawn and the maintenance of roads financed publicly. The 1930s saw the entrances to Tallinn, Kohtla-Järve and Narva receive hard surfacing. Just before the 1940 occupation a five-year plan to construct 20 and 70 kilometres of new highway in Harjumaa and Virumaa respectively was formalised, but was cancelled as war broke out. The highway received serious damage in the war.[7]

Autumn 1944 saw intense repair works begin, which lasted two years. The importance of the highway was elevated, being a direct connection between a Soviet republic capital and the second most important town of the USSR, Leningrad. Large-scale construction works began in late 1945 or early 1946, with the main labour force being German POWs. Their main task was the construction of the road bed, largely carried out by hand. Concrete works were mechanised, with an US concreting machine driving on special steel rails. The repatriation of German POWs saw the labour switched to Russian prisoners, whose work on the highway ended in the late 1950s.[8]

The German-built highway had a length of 28 kilometres, between km 22,8–49,8. The official cemetery to POWs who died working is in Kloostrimetsa. Over time the concrete was replaced with blacktop, with the final stretches of post-war concrete covered in the 1980s.[8]

Vast asphaltisation of the road was undertaken in the 1940s/1950s, with the route being the first dust-free highway in the country by 1956. Temporary wooden bridges were replaced with steel-concrete. Focus on the road was intense despite the rest of the road network being in poor shape. The first asphalt concrete factory in the country was opened by the highway in Pahnimäe and the lion's share of its production went towards this highway. By the mid-1960s the road was, without doubt, the best maintained and most modern in Estonia.[8]

In February 1964 construction works on the country's first dual carriageway began between Tallinn and Maardu, often mistakenly thought to be the section built by German POWs. The 7,1-kilometre stretch was finished in November 1967.[8]

Widening of the road continued as the 1980 Moscow Olympics sailing event was held in Tallinn. The largest project was a 23,7 kilometre stretch of highway between Kuusalu and Valgejõe, with other sections also receiving work. Widening continued in the 1980s and a total of 24,3 kilometres of I class highway were added by the turn of the decade. Construction works ground to a halt following post-independence recession.[8]

The second half of the 1990s saw construction restart. 113,7 kilometres of road were renovated in 2002, 2004 saw reconstruction between Maardu and Valgejõe for European standardisation.[8][9] Renovation between Valgejõe and Rõmeda included resumption of the Viitna bypass, already started in the 1980s, and was completed in 2012.[10][11]

Tallinn-Leningrad highway, built by German POWs, in 1948

The largest and most expensive construction project in Estonian history, reconstruction of the Kukruse-Jõhvi section (one of the more dangerous sections on the highways network) was completed in 2010.[12] The first six-lane section of motorway was constructed between Loo and Maardu in 2012, the same year saw an interchange built near Haljala.[13][14]

An interchange in Sillamäe was built in 2017, streamlining the road and grade-separating the Sillamäe port railway crossing.[15] The motorway was extended to the aforementioned Haljala interchange in 2020, making 80 kilometres of the highway continuously dual carriageway.[16]

In 2022, a long-awaited interchange between the T1, T11 and Laagna tee was constructed in Väo.[17]

Route description[edit]

The T1 (Estonian: põhimaantee 1) is a major west–east highway in Estonia connecting the capital of the country, Tallinn, to the Virumaa region, where the highway follows a route parallel to the northern Estonian coast. The T1 is a part of the European route E20.[2]

The route bypasses most cities, having urban sections only within the terminus cities Tallinn and Narva. The highway begins in Tallinn from Viru Square and runs through the city for 10 kilometres, following the city streets of Narva maantee, Pronksi, Tartu maantee and Peterburi tee. In the city, it intersects with the T2 in Ülemiste and the T11 near the city border, at Väo. After this, the Pirita river (and Tallinn city limits) are crossed. For some kilometres, the road has six lanes, the only such motorway of its kind in the country. An important interchange with the T94 directs cargo traffic to the port of Muuga. The road loses a lane here and continues into the countryside. Whilst the road is a dual carriageway, dangerous at-grade intersections are common until Loobu, a legacy of Soviet road design.

T1 near Jägala

The road turns into single carriageway after an interchange with the T23 near Haljala. Rakvere lies south of the highway, serviced by the aforementioned T23 and the T5, intersecting with the T1 by Sõmeru. The highway, now narrower and twistier, also passes through or near smaller settlements, often with lowered speed limits. The highway comes closest to the Baltic Sea in Kõrkküla, being visible from the road. A fresh stretch of dual carriageway services Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi, with three interchanges, one of them with the T3/E264. Having bypassed both towns, the road is again single carriageway until Narva. Newly built interchanges take the road into a trench in the major port town of Sillamäe, although at-grade intersections with city streets also persist. Finally, the road reaches Narva and follows the path of Tallinna maantee. Going straight through the center of the town, the highway reaches the border crossings and crosses the Narva river into Russia.

Road length of lane[edit]

10 km 4 km 76 km 67 km 7 km 46 km 3 km
Urban 3+3 road 2+2 road 1+1 road 2+2 road 1+1 road Urban

Traffic regulations[edit]

Currently there are 11 speed cameras on the T1, between kilometres 127 and 202.[18]

Whilst the road has long stretches of dual-carriageway, none of it is restricted-access. They do, however, have summer-time elevated speed limits of 110km/h. The lowest bridges on the highway are in Kukruse and Sillamäe, with a 4,8-metre height restriction.[19]

Route table[edit]

The route passes through Harju County (Tallinn, Jõelähtme, Maardu, Kuusalu), Lääne-Viru County (Kadrina, Haljala, Rakvere, Viru-Nigula) and Ida-Viru County (Lüganuse, Toila, Jõhvi, Sillamäe, Narva-Jõesuu, Narva).

Municipality Location km mi Destinations Notes
Tallinn Viru väljak 0.0 0.0 Viru Square is the starting point for four highways - Tallinn-Narva, Tallinn-Tartu, Tallinn-Pärnu and Tallinn-Paldiski. Concurrency with T2.
Pronksi T11608 Urban intersection
Ülemiste  – Tartu
Tallinn Airport
Peterburi tee crosses on flyover; end of T2 concurrency.
Väo  – Tartu
 – Pärnu
 – Paldiski
Exiting Tallinn, start of dual carriageway
Jõelähtme Parish Jõelähtme Loo T11110 – Loo, Vana-Narva highway;
T11601 – Liivamäe
Maardu Maardu  – Muuga, Maardu;
T11102 – Maardu küla
Jõelähtme Parish Jõelähtme Loovälja T11102 – Maardu küla;
T11103 – Kostivere, Kallavere waste processing facility
Võerdla T11260 – Rebala, Võerdla At-grade intersection; left-hand northbound turn
Jõelähtme T11109 – Kostivere, Parasmäe;
T11259 – Koogi, Jõelähtme centre
At-grade; all-directions access via U-turns
Jägala  – Käravete, Aegviidu;
T11260 – Valkla;
T11260 – Kaberneeme
Kuusalu Parish Kuusalu Kodasoo T11104 – Kaberla, Kodasoo centre;
Kiiu T11105 – Soodla;
T11266 – Valkla;
Kiiu centre
Kuusalu T11106 – Kuusalu centre;
T11270 – Leesi, Kiiu
Kahala T11107 – Kursi;
T11260 – Kahala centre, Balti Spoon
Vahastu T11275 – Hirvli, Sigula;
T11276 – Mustametsa
At-grade; all-directions access via U-turns
Liiapeksi  – Loksa, Kolga;
T11260 – Võsu
At-grade; all-directions access via U-turns
Kemba T11260 – Kõnnu At-grade; all-directions access via U-turns
Valgejõe T11108 – Valgejõe centre At-grade intersection; left-hand northbound turn; missing eastbound connection;
Valgejõe T11108 – Valgejõe centre At-grade; eastbound access via U-turn; missing northbound connection
Kadrina Parish Kadrina Loobu  – Tapa
Loobu T17211 – Kadrina, Viitna Eastbound exit only
Viitna T17176 – Kadrina, Viitna centre, Võsu, Palmse
Viitna T17211 – Rõmeda centre;
T11174 – Liiguste centre
At-grade; north-to-east access via U-turn; south-to-west connection missing;
Haljala Parish Haljala Aaspere T17212 – Kihlevere, Võipere, Vanamõisa, Aaspere
Haljala Veltsi;
 – Rakvere;
T17177 – Võsu, Haljala
End of dual carriageway
Haljala Põdruse  – Kunda
Rakvere Parish Rakvere Arkna T17164 – Rakvere
Sõmeru  – Pärnu, Rakvere
Sõmeru T17163 – Ubja
Sõmeru T17119 – Mõedaka, Vaeküla
Sämi T17157 – Uhtna
Sämi T17120 – Kiviõli, Sonda
Viru-Nigula Parish Viru-Nigula Pada  – Kunda, Viru-Nigula
Pada T17117 – Sonda
Koogu T13113 – Kalvi
Rannu T13104 – Aseri
Kõrkküla T13132 – Kestla
Lüganuse Parish Lüganuse Kõrkküla T13190 – Liimala
Purtse T13118 – Püssi, Lüganuse
Purtse T13190 – Liimala
Hiie T13119 – Purtse centre
Purtse T13171 – Lüganuse cemetery road
Varja  – Kiviõli, Püssi
Soodumäe T13191
Varja T13192 – Moldova
Varja T13193
Voorepera T13121
Aa T13123 – Aa manor
Aa T13194 – Aa
Toila Parish Toila Saka T13133 – Saka
Kohtla-Järve  – Kohtla-Nõmme, Kohtla-Järve
Järve T13137 – Ontika
Järveküla Järve village;
T13195 – Amula
Start of dual carriageway
Toila Parish Toila Järveküla  – Kohtla-Järve North-to-west ramp missing
Täkumetsa  – Tammiku, Kohtla-Järve, Kukruse
Jõhvi Parish Jõhvi Edise  – Tartu, Jõhvi
End of dual carriageway
Jõhvi Parish Jõhvi Jõhvi T13136 – Uikala
Toila Parish Toila Kõrve T13105 – Toila
Lagedi T13139 – Pühajõe centre, Voka village centre
Lagedi T13138 – Oru[disambiguation needed]
Oru T13187 – Voka
Oru T13199 – Voka borough
Konju T13199 – Voka borough
Sillamäe Sillamäe T13141 – Vaivara, Sillamäe port, Tööstuse street;
L. Tolstoi street
Single carriageway, grade-separated junction
Sillamäe T13106 – Viivikonna, Vaivara;
City centre
Single carriageway, grade-separated junction
Narva-Jõesuu Sillamäe T13144 – Sinimäe
Sinimäe T13126 – Sinimäe centre
Hiiemetsa  – Narva-Jõesuu
Hiiemetsa T13145 – Auvere
Vodava T13146 – Meriküla
Peeterristi T13147 – Kudruküla
Lapiotsa T13149 – Soldina
Narva T13148 – Arumäe
Entering Narva
Narva Narva T13109
Kerese  – Narva-Jõesuu
Narva-1 border crossing with  Russia
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maanteeamet - Aruannete koostamine - Teede nimekiri - Print Preview page". Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Working Party on Road Transport" (PDF). 14 March 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
  3. ^ Pott, Toomas (22 September 2020). "Maanteeameti hinnangul ei valmi neljarajalised maanteed enne 2035. aastat". ERR Uudised. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Liiklussagedus riigiteedel". Transpordiamet. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  5. ^ ERR (9 January 2020). "Kaks suurt maanteed ehitatakse aastaks 2030 neljarajaliseks". ERR (in Estonian). Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Maanteeamet".
  7. ^ a b c "Narva maantee ajaloost" (PDF). Teeleht. June 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Rääsk, Mairo (August 2005). "Narva maantee ajaloost" (PDF). Teeleht. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  9. ^ Herm, Mäe, Toomas, Aarne (23 January 2004). "Miljonid eurod siluvad teed Tallinna poole". Virumaa Teataja. Retrieved 8 April 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Pulver, Andres (20 March 2009). "Viitna ümbersõit saab lõpuks teoks". Virumaa Teataja. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  11. ^ Õis, Eugen (15 May 2012). "Suvised teetööd Lääne-Virumaal". Virumaa Teataja. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Kukruse-Jõhvi teelõik valmis kaks kuud enne tähtaega". 31 August 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  13. ^ Seiton, Kelli (10 May 2012). "Loo–Maardu tee läheb ehitajale kalliks maksma". Eesti Päevaleht. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Haljala liiklussõlm on täies mahus avatud". Virumaa Teataja. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  15. ^ Romanovitš, Gerli (20 August 2017). "Sillamäe seitsme miljoni liiklussõlm on valmis saamas". Põhjarannik. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Valmis 16,5 miljonit maksnud Rõmeda–Haljala teelõik". ERR Uudised. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  17. ^ Oja, Barbara (6 January 2022). "Väo liiklussõlm on ametlikult valmis". ERR Uudised. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  18. ^ "Maanteeamet".
  19. ^ "Tark Tee". Retrieved 21 September 2023.

External links[edit]

Media related to Estonian national road 1 at Wikimedia Commons