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Rail Baltica project promoter RB Rail has called tenders for a contract to identify unexploded ordnance and carry out geotechnical works where the future standard gauge railway will pass through the former Cekule military area.
The area around 20 km from central Riga contained a military ammunition depot which was blown up during WWII, scattering munitions throughout the area. Around 1 to 2 m of soil was subsequently backfilled under Soviet control to make the area safer, and the area remained in military use until 1994.
The Latvian armed forces have been gradually clearing the zone, but previous scanning works have detected approximately 1 to 10 possible unexploded devices per 100 m2 on the route of the railway, and it is considered too dangerous to undertake geotechnical investigation works until the land has been cleared.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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