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An illustration of the future tunnel, Source: City of Helsinki

Helsinki to build a 1.6-kilometre-long tunnel worth EUR 180 million

Helsinki to build a 1.6-kilometre-long tunnel worth EUR 180 million

The Sörnäistentunnel project has received both praise and criticism

On 24 November, Helsinki City Council approved the project plan for the construction of Sörnäistentunnel: a tunnel that will facilitate north-south traffic by directing cars underground. The tunnel will have a length of 1.6 kilometres and particularly affect the districts of Kalasatama, Suvilahti and Teurastamo.

A project worth EUR 180 million

The construction of Sörnäistentunnel will take place in several phases, with the first stage costing approximately EUR 50 million. During this phase, the northern concrete tunnel section and the underground structures of access ramps will be built from Kalasatama to Pasila. According to the capital, this stage will be linked to the renovation of the tramway and Hermann coastal road in 2022-2024.

The city has not yet revealed the subsequent phases in detail as the planning and preparation of the project are still underway. However, it notes that the plans will focus on the design of the tunnel openings, their suitability for the urban environment, and the smoothness of walking and cycling conditions.

Although Helsinki has not yet decided on the cost estimates for all the phases of the Sörnäistentunnel project, it has announced that the total cost estimate is approximately EUR 180 million. What is more, the annual operating costs will be around EUR 2 million.

A controversial project

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE reports that the Sörnäistentunnel is a controversial project, which has been the subject of heated political debates. Taking this further, the country’s Left Alliance and Green Party are against the construction of the tunnel, believing that it contradicts the city's plans to reduce emissions by promoting the use of cars.

On the other hand, Finland's National Coalition Party believes that the tunnel will allow the city to build modern and green transport solutions such as high-speed rail networks.

YLE writes that the controversial tunnel will open to traffic in the early 2030s

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