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Rail Baltica riverbed survey turns up old compressor

A survey of the River Daugava, intended to check whether old munitions might be a hazard to construction of the Rail Baltica line, failed to find any bombs but did dredge up an old compressor, said RB Rail, the joint venture overseeing the infrastructure project.

RB Rail teamed up with the Latvian National Armed Forces to organize an initial investigation of explosive ordnance in the upper layer of the Daugava riverbed in the territory of “Saulkalne – Daugmale”, where the Rail Baltica mainline is planned to cross the River Daugava.

"Given the size and the scope as well as local and international significance of the Rail Baltica project, the Naval Forces of the National Armed Forces provided support for the search of the riverbed as a part of their military exercise, using visual and sonar search techniques," said an account of the survey.

"Although there was no evidence of explosive ordnance in the Daugava riverbed, a 'Soviet-era' compressor weighing about 30 kilograms was found and lifted from the river. Additionally, a plastic pipe about five centimeters in diameter was found, which probably crosses the Daugava," it was reported.

The results of investigation showed that currently there is no evidence of explosive articles on the riverbed, which will allow the continuation of design works of the Rail Baltica main route.

“ In most parts of Latvia, we also face the [challenge of] historical military heritage. In this case, the designers of the mainline section “Vangaži-Salaspils-Misa”, an international team of engineers, found that the planned Daugava crossing is in an area that might be contaminated with explosive objects. This crossing, among other things, is special in that this will be the only combined railway and road bridge in the Baltics,” said Ģirts Bramans, Head of Strategic Stakeholders and Communications department.

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