About Estonian roads
Estonia has an area about 45,226 sq. km and a population of 1.3 million inhabitants. Estonia is topographically rather flat. The total length of roads is 58,400 km, the length of E-roads is 935 km. The density of the registered road network is 1,325 km per 1,000 sq. km. The country partly serves the transfer traffic from the other Baltic countries to and from Russia.
The Estonian climate resembles that of other countries on the Baltic sea area. The skies are often cloudy, and rain often falls in the spring and autumn, in the winter the rain turns to snow. The temperature fluctuates around zero until late spring, wherefore moisture film on the pavement freezes and thaws by turns. Such weather conditions put forward substantial demands to the quality of road pavement – it must be tense, and longitudinal and cross fall must ensure water outflow from the surface.
According to registered records, the construction of asphalt-grouted surfacings began in 1923 when 2006 sq. m. of road near Tallinn was surface dressed. The first stationary asphalt mixer (“REISER”) was bought to Tallinn Asphalt Plant in 1936.
During the II Word War no asphalt pavements were constructed in Estonia, but right after the end of the war, road works enlivened, and the construction of asphalt-grouted surfacings got the second wind. So, e.g. in 1946-1949 in Tallinn – Narva road, 17.5 km. of asphalt pavement was constructed.
Step by step the technology improved, although the principles of producing asphalt mixtures – sorting of crushed stone and sand by grain size, heating the stone aggregate and bitumen, dosaging it into the mixer according to the recipe, mixing it all and excision of emerging dust – remained the same. The older mixers were replaced by newer ones, and in 1990 there were already 56 asphalt mixers in Estonia. Basically they were Soviet origin, with the output capacity of 25 tonnes per hour. But there were also some with the output rate of 100 tonnes per hour. In 1980-is Estonia aquired 10 “TELTOMAT” mixers from German Democratic Republic, which were considered as advanced technology by the standards of the Soviet bloc.