The implementation of huge construction sites in the core of Helsinki requires balancing and precise planning, for example in public transport arrangements.
Helsinki six gigantic construction sites are underway in the inner city, which will color the city’s streetscape for years to come. How is it possible that the construction sites are implemented at the same time?
It is completely planned that the giant projects are running at the same time, says the head of the unit Pihla Kuokkanen from the field of urban environment. The investigation of the projects in question and their timetables was already started a long time ago.
“We found out which construction sites can be running at the same time without too much hindrance, for example, to moving to the city center. A considered decision”, he describes.
According to him, the simultaneity of the projects is due, for example, to the city’s own growth goals and the need to repair infrastructure that has reached the end of its life cycle, which Helsinki currently has a lot of.
HS compiled six major projects on the map. They are numbered on the map in the following order (1–6): Mannerheimintie renovation, pedestrian center, Kruunusillat, Kalasataman–Pasila tramway, Keski-Pasila and Hietaniemi. You can read more detailed information about the projects, for example from here.
Six planning and implementing a large project has required balancing, Kuokkanen admits. Transport– and street planning in Helsinki is handled by a specialized city service. It is under the Urban Environment Department.
Kuokkanen does not estimate where the so-called pain limit lies in the number of simultaneous, large projects. However, he is of the opinion that six large construction projects – even at the same time – are quite enough.
“We don’t want to do more than this at once. At least the resources will meet. Designers and builders must also have enough for all sites.”
In the core center numerous things must be taken into account in the projects to be implemented and in their planning. An example is public transport, the arrangements of which are agreed with Helsinki Region Transport (HSL).
Some of the projects have more impact on traffic than others.
Among other things, the biggest street work in the history of Helsinki ie Main repair of Mannerheimintie makes the everyday life of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists difficult. It is supposed to last at least two and a half years.
On the other hand, Hietaniemi’s street and municipal engineering works do not have as significant an impact on traffic. They are made on Hiekarrantanti, which is located on the side and may not be on the path of many people.
Many of the six giant projects last for several years. This has also been taken into account in the plans. The Kruunusillat project will take the longest of the projects, which will not only cause inconvenience to traffic but also noise.
The project’s construction works will affect a wide area in the eastern inner city until 2027.
The following the aim is to start equally large construction site projects only after the current ones have been completed, describes Kuokkanen.
“For the construction sites of the coming years, nothing certain can be promised, since everything affects everything. Every year, we look again to see how it looks now and how future projects will start to take shape.”
However, the initiation of projects cannot be prolonged too much, because there are many new ones in the queue. We have to move forward in the projects, Kuokkanen sums up.
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