Photo: Ragnar Vutt.
The next stage in the development of the common urban space of Valga and Valka will be the areas in the immediate vicinity of the newly built city center – the Pedeli River recreation area on both sides of the Ramsi Bridge and the surrounding areas of Konnaoja from Sõpruse Street to Sepa Street.
The dam lakes on Pedeli River and the recreation area around them were completed more than 15 years ago, with the aim of improving the recreational conditions and leisure opportunities of the residents of Valga-Valka. The recreation area of Pedeli is highly valued by the city residents, offering various opportunities to spend time with the family, practice sports, enjoy nature or get good concert experiences. Unfortunately, time has done its job and recreation area and the dam lakes need a renewal.
With the support of the Estonia-Latvia programme te first stage of the development of Valga-Valka twin city center has been completed. Pedestrian street, new bridge in Konnaoja, skate park, sports field for the elderly and the central square in Valka are in active use both by citizens and visitors. The activities of the first phase are coming to an end and in parallel, the next steps are being taken to create a comprehensive and high-quality urban space.
Next it is planned to tidy up the areas in the immediate vicinity of the newly built city center – the Pedeli River recreation area on both sides of the Ramsi Bridge and the area around Konnaoja from Sõpruse Street to Sepa Street. Attractive and high-quality public space creates new opportunities for leisure and sports for both Valga and Valka residents and visitors of the twin city. For people living in border areas, tidying up and modernizing urban space is also emotionally important – it creates pride in their hometown and the hope that life on the outskirts is not completely disappearing.
On the Valga side, the biggest work is cleaning up the two dam lakes in the middle of the Pedeli River, because the poor environmental condition of the dam lakes has long been a concern for both officials and city residents. Dam lakes are cleaned of excess vegetation and sediments accumulated over time. The cleaning of dam lakes slows down the progressive overgrowth of water bodies and ensures the visual attractiveness of the recreation area.
In addition, investments will be made in the public space surrounding the dam lakes – street lighting will be installed in the vicinity of the first dam lake, which has been in the dark so far, recreation areas and playgrounds will be arranged and new leisure opportunities will be created. Cosiness will be added swith the help of landscaping and fresh urban furniture. The exact scope and volume of the work will become clear after the design phase.
On the Valka side, the area around Pudrumäe will be tidied up and old depreciated footpaths surrounding the dam lake will be replaced with new foot- and bicycle paths, also street lighting installed in places where it does not yet exist. In addition, resting places will be created, landscaping renewed and a fountain installed on the Pedeli dam lake.
The area around the building of the former Seminara Street border checkpoint will be tidied up and a footpath will be built on the shore of Konnaoja, connecting Seminara / Sepa Street with Raina Street. As a joint effort of the two local governments, the Sepa Street Bridge will be repaired and the border-steam will be cleaned from the Sepa Street Bridge to the Sõpruse Street.
This project is the next step to achieve the strategic goal of Valga and Valka to bring the life back to the historical heart of the city and its surroundings. The planned activities will be implemented in 2021-2022.
The project Subsidy Contract between the main partner Valga Municipality and the Managing Authority was signed on March 3, and on the same day a joint meeting of the project partners was held to plan and coordinate further activities.
The total cost of the project “Renovation of the Valga-Valka Twin Town Recreation Area” is 926,137.34 euros, of which the support of the Estonian-Latvian cooperation programme is 787,216.73 euros. The municipalities of Valga and Valka each contribute approximately 70,000 euros.
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