Estonian national road 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Tartu Highway)

National Road 2 shield}}
National Road 2
Põhimaantee 2
Ökodukt Tallinn-Tartu maanteel 2016. aasta novembris..jpg
Route information
Maintained by Estonian Transport Administration
Length282 km (175 mi)
Major junctions
Major intersections Ülemiste


Counties Harju County

 Järva County
 Jõgeva County
 Tartu County
 Põlva County

 Võru County
Highway system
T1 T3

Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa maantee (Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa highway, alternatively Põhimaantee nr 2, unofficially abbreviated T2) is a 282-kilometre-long[1] north-southeast national main road in Estonia. The route follows the same path as European route E263. The road forms a major north-south corridor within Estonia, connecting the two largest cities. The highway starts in Tallinn and passes a number of notable towns, namely Kose, Põltsamaa, Tartu and Võru, with arterials branching off towards Paide, Valga, Põlva. The highway ends in Luhamaa intersecting with the T7, heading to either Latvia or Russia.

In 2021, the highest traffic volumes were around Tallinn and Tartu, with highest recorded AADT figures being 28,000 and 19,000 respectively. Heavy traffic figures are second only to the T4, with around 1000 trucks recorded daily between Tallinn and Tartu. The road forms a major transport north-south transport route within Estonia, as it connects the two largest cities in Estonia.[2]

The road is a dual carriageway for 86 kilometres. The main part is between Tallinn and Mäo, forming the longest continuous stretch of dual carriageway in Estonia. Remaining stretches are short stubs just before and exiting Tartu. Several 2+1 stretches have been constructed between Mäo and Tartu to alleviate overtaking dangers.[3] Future plans only envisage the construction of dual carriageways, albeit these have been largely put on hold due to austerity measures.[4]


Early history[edit]

Research shows a trail of sorts between Tallinn and Tartu already present in the early 14th century, with negotiations during the St. George's Night uprising requiring travel between Tallinn, Tartu and Paide.[5][6]

Roads in the modern sense started appearing during Swedish rule with a network of postal routes and postal stations established. By this point, several routes between Tallinn and Tartu via Rakvere, the Piibe highway and Põltsamaa were present, with these routes being largely unchanged later.[5][6]

20th century[edit]

Modern Estonia was historically administratively divided between Estonia and Livonia. As Tartu lay in Livonia, there was no significant demand for travel between Tallinn and Tartu. The route gained its modern levels of importance during the 20th century.[5]

Until the mid-1920s the current T2 highway terminated at Põltsamaa, connecting via Aidu to Piibe highway. Onwards from Põltsamaa and towards Kärevere was only important on a parochial level and no longer a main route, as no bridge over the Emajõgi was constructed in Kärevere until 1928 and a ferry was required. The first bridge, eventually constructed in 1928, collapsed in just two days. Hence the Tallinn-Mäo-Põltsamaa highway was rather used for traffic between Tallinn and Riga, with the route continuing towards Viljandi, Karksi-Nuia and the border at Polli.[5][6]

Kärevere bridge, 1928, collapsing in just two days

In the 1930s, plans were devised to construct a new Tallinn-Riga highway via Paide and Põltsamaa, running completely straight between Tallinn and Põltsamaa. The designed road had a width of 8 metres, with a granite foundation and topped with gravel, and a speed limit of 150km/h. In Viljandimaa the road would've passed straight across Parika bog and over large valleys. The route between Tallinn and Paide would've shortened by 21 kilometres, 24 kilometres total between Tallinn and Tartu. Construction began from Tallinn in December 1934, employing up to 450 people. With the highway costing 2.4 million kroons but very little money allocated by the state, construction was slow and only 8 kilometres of road (up to Assaku) were constructed by 1940.[5]

By the end of the 1940s, developing Tallinn-Tartu via Mäo and Põltsamaa became preferred to Piibe highway. The highway attained all-Union importance, one of three such highways in Estonia (alongside Tallinn-Pärnu, Tallinn-Narva). It was, however, was nothing more than a twisty and tight gravel road, prone to disappearing in blizzards. In 1947, only 4,4 kilometres of highway was dust-free, and this too near urban areas.[5]

The highway was covered in blacktop fully only by 1960, but with no foundation works undertaken, it was prone to falling apart. Works were undertaken in the following years to construct a proper bed, covered with asphalt concrete.[5]

Large-scale construction works took place in the 1970s and 1980s. Between 1986-1990 the first stretch of dual carriageway was constructed between Tallinn and Jüri. Works continued towards Vaida but halted in 1993 due to economic downturn resulting from the collapse of the USSR, restarted and finished in 1997-1998.[5][7]

21st century[edit]

Widening of the highway continued slowly in the 2000s. By 2003, a section of dual carriageway was completed from Vaida to Aruvalla, but without grade-separated junctions or collectors. Joining the EU provided the state access to development funding and large scale works on the aforementioned section began in 2007, which also saw an interchange constructed in Puurmani.[8][9][10] 2010 saw the opening of Mäo interchange, a key junction for central Estonia, with the road rerouted and built from scratch as dual carriageway.[11]

Further works began in 2011 with dual carriageway extended from Aruvalla to Kose, finished in 2013, during which Estonia's first ecoduct was constructed. In the same year, a 2-kilometre stretch of dual carriageway and the Postimaja interchange were constructed on Tartu's western bypass, with a further three kilometres of 2+2 opened the next year.[12][13][14]

The first 2+1 sections of the highway (and indeed in all of Estonia) were opened in 2017 between Annikvere and Neanurme, with further sections opened in 2018, 2019, and 2023.[15]

The largest road construction project in Estonian history began in 2017, extending the dual carriageway from Kose to Võõbu. The highway was completely built from scratch on a new route, with interchanges, ecoducts, and electronic signage. The latter is used for a new at-grade animal crossing solution, with sensors detecting animals near the highway and lowering the speed limit accordingly. This was the first section of highway in the country with a speed limit of 120km/h.[16][17]

A further extension, similarly on an all-new route, was opened between Võõbu and Mäo in 2022, hence roughly half of the route between Tallinn and Tartu is now dual carriageway. A further few kilometres were widened between Kärevere and Kardla in the same year.[18][19]

Route description[edit]

The T2 (Estonian: põhimaantee 2) is a major north-southeast highway connecting the capital of the country, Tallinn, to the second largest city, Tartu and beyond into Põlva- and Võrumaa. It follows the same route as European route E263.

The route begins in Tallinn from Viru Square and runs through the city for 6 kilometres, following the city streets of Narva maantee, Pronksi and Tartu maantee. It services Tallinn Airport, with planes taking off and landing just above the highway. At Assaku, the road crosses the yet-unbuilt Rail Baltica, with a viaduct already in place. In Jüri, the carriageway is taken over a roundabout junction with the T11. Until Vaida, the road is nearly arrow-straight, as per pre-war plans. The road continually modernises towards Mäo as newer dual carriageway sections are encountered. Bypassing Mäo, the T5 is met at an interchange, with the road transforming to single carriageway a few kilometres after.

From here, the road will pass through settlements owing to the age of its route, with lower speed limits and speed cameras in place. Shortly after Põltsamaa the road widens to 2+1, with a speed limit of 100km/h on bypassing sections. Road width alternates several times until Tartu, with another 2+1 section, dual carriageway and single carriageway.

T2 in Võrumaa

Approaching Tartu the road splits in two, with the T40 heading straight into Tartu and the T2 bypassing it from the west. The opposite direction forces traffic into a full stop, giving way to northbound T40 traffic. Several roundabouts and roundabout interchanges are met with the T22103, T92 and T3 respectively. The bypass continues with grade-separated interchanges, the largest being a trumpet interchange with the city's southern/eastern bypass. Widening to dual carriageway, the highway services Tartu Airport, after which it continues southbound as single carriageway. The road will again head through or close past settlements with lowered speed limits.

Before Võru, the road heads left on a T-junction. Roundabouts are met bypassing Võru and another T-junction after Võru, the road once again heading left. The highway terminates in almost the very southern tip of Estonia, with border crossings to Latvia and Russia via the T7 only 18 and 2,5km away, respectively.

Road length of lane[edit]

6 km 80 km 40 km 16 km 14 km 7 km 2 km 3 km 9 km 2 km 3 km 3 km 97 km
Urban 2+2 road 1+1 road 2+1 road 1+1 road 2+1 road 1+1 road 2+2 road 1+1 road Urban 1+1 road 2+2 road 1+1 road

Route table[edit]

The route passes through Harju County (Tallinn, Rae, Kose), Järva County (Paide, Järva), Jõgeva County (Põltsamaa), Tartu County (Tartu, Tartu, Kambja), Põlva County (Kanepi), Võru County (Võru, Setomaa).

Municipality Location km mi Destinations Notes
Tallinn 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 T1.
Pronksi Urban intersection
Ülemiste  – Narva Peterburi tee crosses on flyover; end of T1 concurrency.
Ülemiste Urban intersection
Mõigu Urban intersection
Exiting Tallinn, start of dual carriageway
Rae Parish Rae Assaku  – Järveküla, Assaku Furthermost ramps divided by 1,4km
Pildiküla  – Lehmja, Pildiküla
Jüri  – Keila, Pärnu highway, Narva highway, Jüri
Patika  – Nabala, Kautjala, Patika centre
Vaida  – Vaidasoo
 – Vaida
Aruvalla  – Urge, Tuhala, Jägala
Piuga  - Tuhala, Saula Southbound exit ramp only
Kose Parish Kose Saula    North- and southbound entrance only
Siniallika  – Saula centre Northbound exit only
Kolu   – Tammiku, Oru, Kolu
Kurena Southbound exit only
Kuivajõe  – Kose;
 – Kose-Uuemõisa, Karla;
Kose-Risti  – Purila, Kose;
Pre-motorway T2 forms northbound exit from T11708
Ardu  – Ardu, Ojasoo, Triigi
Paide Paide Mustla  – Ardu, Mustla
Otiku  – Eivere
 – Anna
 – Otiku centre
Korba Southbound entrance only; pre-motorway T2 rejoins
Kükita  – Mäo, Tarbja centre Southbound exit only; pre-motorway T2
Mäo  – Pärnu, Türi, Paide, Rakvere, Aravete
Valgma  – Mäo centre;
End of dual carriageway
Paide Paide Mäeküla  – Piibe maantee, Koeru
Mäeküla  – Mündi
Järva Parish Järva Prandi  – Prandi
Koigi  – Päinurme, Koigi centre
Koigi  – Prandi
Koigi  – Laimetsa
Käsukonna  – Laimetsa
Imavere  – Viljandi, Imavere centre
Kiigevere  – Imavere
Põltsamaa Parish Põltsamaa Adavere  – Rutikvere
Adavere  – Puiatu
Mõhküla  – Eistvere
Põltsamaa  – Võhma, Põltsamaa
Põltsamaa  – Põltsamaa, Pajusi
Põltsamaa  – Põltsamaa, Jõgeva
Põltsamaa  – Lustivere
Annikvere  – Annikvere centre
Start of 2+1
Põltsamaa Parish Põltsamaa Kaliküla  – Lustivere
Neanurme  – Umbusi
Neanurme  – Tõrenurme Northbound exit and entrance only
Pikknurme  – Umbusi;
 – Saduküla
End of 2+1
Põltsamaa Parish Põltsamaa Puurmani  – Puurmani;
 – Tabivere;
Single carriageway interchange
Tartu Tartu Siniküla  – Laeva, Siniküla centre
Rootsi  – Siniküla, Laeva
Start of 2+1
End of 2+1
Tartu Tartu Kärevere  – Kärkna, Jõgeva highway
Start of dual carriageway
End of dual carriageway
Tartu Tartu Kardla  – Kardla
Kardla  – Ilmatsalu
Rähni  – Rahinge
Tiksoja  – Vorbuse
Tiksoja  – Tartu city centre
Ilmatsalu  – Ilmatsalu, Rahinge;
Tartu, Ilmatsalu street
Viljandi  – Viljandi, Puhja
Tartu, Viljandi maantee
Riia  – Valga, Elva
City centre
Grade-separated roundabout junction with T2 on flyover
Kambja Parish Kambja Variku Tõrvandi, Roopa street Single carriageway interchange
Postimaja Narva, Räpina, Jõgeva, Tartu
Start of dual carriageway
Kambja Parish Kambja Tõrvandi  – Lemmatsi Westbound exit and southbound entrance only
Lennu  – Külitse, Tartu Airport, Tõrvandi
End of dual carriageway
Kambja Parish Kambja Reola  – Unipiha
 – Põlva
Tatra  – Virulase
Tatra  – Otepää
Kambja  – Nõo
Kambja  – Rebase
Kambja  – Kavandu
Kambja  – Sirvaku
Kambja  – Sirvaku
Kanepi Parish Kanepi Vissi  – Pangodi, Kammeri
Vissi  – Vooreküla
Maaritsa  – Prangli
Maaritsa  – Otepää
Sulaoja  – Krüüdneri
Sulaoja  – Piigaste
Abissaare  – Pikareinu
Saverna  – Põlva
Saverna  – Krootuse
Saverna  – Tiido
Saverna  – Otepää, Valgjärve
Silgu  – Jõksi
Kanepi  – Ihamaru
Kanepi  – Otepää, Kanepi
Kanepi  – Varbuse
Kanepi  – Otepää, Kanepi
Kanepi  – Põlva
Erastvere  – Sillaotsa
Peetrimõisa  – Magari, Sulbi
Võru Parish Võru Peetrimõisa  – Heimtali church
Mäekülä  – Antsla, Osula, Raiste
Navi  – Pärnu
Navi  – Väimela, Navi
Võru  – Võru, Põlva
Võru  – Võru, Koidula, Räpina
Verijärve  – Umbsaare
Verijärve  – Valga, Võru
Verijärve  – Rõuge
Verijärve  – Lasva
Räpo  – Uue-Saaluse
Tootsi  – Kasaritsa
Holsta  – Uue-Saaluse
Holsta  – Vana-Saaluse
Hinsa  – Loosi
Hinsa  – Vana-Saaluse
Vastseliina  – Loosi, Kapera
Vastseliina  –
Vastseliina  – Obinitsa, Meremäe
Vastseliina  – Vastseliina
Illi  – Meremäe, Vana-Vastseliina, Tsiistre, Kirikumäe
Vatsa  – Miikse
Viitka  – Pältre
Setomaa Parish Setomaa Luhamaa  – Riga, Pskov
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 14 April 2016.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Rääsk, Mairo. "Aastasajad vormisid looduslikust rajast tiheda liiklusega Tallinna—Tartu maantee". Sakala. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  6. ^ a b c Kerge, Rainer. "Kuidas Tallinnast Tartusse pääseb ehk kui vana on ühendus kahe linna vahel". Õhtuleht. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Tallinna-Tartu maantee sai jupivõrra siledamaks". Postimees. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Estonian national road 2 at Wikimedia Commons