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  • 2019 August 26 17:17

    Repair works begin at Port of Riga moles

    The Freeport of Riga Authority says it has started repair works on both the eastern and western entrance moles of the Port of Riga. Moles are one of the most important hydrotechnical constructions at the Port of Riga, providing the necessary depth for ships to enter the port and protect the navigation canal from sea currents and sand sediments. Both moles of the Port of Riga were built during the second half of the 19th century, when rapid modernisation of the port and reinforcement of the navigation canal with hydrotechnical constructions began.

    Construction of the eastern mole began in 1850, and continued intermittently until 1870. As the Port of Riga played a significant role in the trade flow of the Russian Empire, the modernisation process and construction of the mole was closely monitored by Russian Emperor Alexander II, who personally visited Riga in 1856 to see the progress of construction. Initially, the marine area of the eastern mole was made of pile structures that were filled up and covered with stones. The main part of the dam was made of heavy fascines and stones. After the reconstruction in 1998, the length of the eastern mole reached 2,240 metres.

    The western mole was built from 1881 to 1885 and is 860 metres long. In the marine part of the mole, there were pile structures filled with stones and a stone wall on the top. The coastal part was made of heavy fascines, and the superstructure of large boulders. The mole suffered during the air raids of World War II and was restored after the war.  During the 1980s, the western mole was additionally reinforced with concrete tetrapods.

    Nowadays, the Freeport of Riga Authority is responsible for the technical condition, use and supervision of moles at the Port of Riga. Repair and maintenance works on the moles are carried out continuously as the structures are constantly affected by weather conditions, wind, water and ice. Concreting works on the bank of the western mole have been taking place since 2010. This summer, completion of the last stage of concreting is planned, leaving the mole covered with concrete over its entire length. On the eastern mole, replacement of damaged concrete panels, concreting, and reinforcement of the mole slope is planned to prevent leachate. Work is expected to be completed by early September.

    As both moles are freely accessible and also serve as a popular walking, recreation and fishing area for the citizens of Riga, reconstruction of the moles is also essential for visitor safety. The Freeport of Riga Authority reminds visitors to exercise caution when on the moles, and recommends visiting only during favourable weather conditions.

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