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Winter Road Being Planned Between Mainland and Vormsi Island

By a decision of the Director General of the Maritime Administration (MA), as of 20 February 2017, vessel traffic is temporarily closed in the Väinameri Sea, in the area between the Rohuküla-Sviby fairway and the line connecting the cape Pinukse neem on the mainland and Obholmen on the southeast coast of Vormsi Island.

The Estonian Road Administration (RA) submitted an application to the MA to have vessel traffic temporarily closed in that area with the intention of preparing a winter road connecting Rohuküla on the mainland and Sviby on Vormsi.

Prohibiting vessel traffic does not necessarily mean that the winter road will be opened because first the ice sheet needs to be thoroughly examined to make sure, among other things, that it is at least 11 cm thick.

In accordance with the existing procedures, the RA can only open a winter road with the approval of the MA if the planned route intersects with the existing fairways or will have an impact on vessel traffic in any other way.

At the moment only one winter road is being planned – the one between the mainland and the island of Vormsi. One winter road was opened last week between Haapsalu and Noarootsi on the west coast of Estonia. There was no need for an approval from the MA for that route, however, because there is no vessel traffic there during the winter navigation season.

In the photo: ice conditions in the Estonian waters on 13 February as seen from 800 km above by the satellite Sentinel-2