Behind the tunnel construction are the Coalition Party and the Sdp. The Greens and the left are opposed to the project.
Sörnäist tunnel construction is progressing. At its meeting on Tuesday, the Helsinki City Environment Committee approved the tunnel project plan by a vote of 8–5.
The construction was supported by the Coalition Party, Sdp, Perussuomalaiset and Rkp. The tunnel was opposed by the Greens and the Left Alliance.
The tunnel will proceed next to the city government for consideration. It is finally decided on its construction by the city council.
The board last put the matter on the table at last week’s meeting.
Sörnäinen The Sörnäistentunneli, which connects the coastal road and the Hermann coastal road, is, according to current plans, a 1.6-kilometer-long tunnel with a 1 + 1 lane. Its purpose is to take transit traffic underground.
Read more: The aim is to build a 1.6-kilometer tunnel in Sörnäinen, Helsinki, which would increase private car use and reduce the use of public transport.
The tunnel ramps are to be located on Hermann’s coastal road south of Haukilahdenkatu and on Sörnäinen coastal road south of Vilhonvuorenkatu. The length of the open ramps at both ends is about 180 meters.
The tunnel is to be built in two parts. In the first phase, in 2022–2024, the northern concrete tunnel section of the tunnel and the underground structures of the associated access ramps would be built from Kalasatama to Pasila in connection with the renovation of the tramway and Hermann coastal road.
The cost estimate for the first phase is EUR 50 million, and the cost estimate for the whole project is just under EUR 180 million.
Sdp: n leader of the council group and member of the urban environment board Eveliina Heinäluoma justifies the usefulness of the project on the grounds that other developments in the Kalasatama area require an underground solution for road traffic in order to work.
A tram line will run from Kalasatama to Pasila, the earthworks of which are already underway. In addition, buses in East Vantaa will be directed to Kalasatama in the future. The tram line is scheduled to operate in 2024.
“A significant increase in public transport links requires that traffic be taken underground.”
According to the calculations made in the project plan, the tunnel will slightly increase the volume of car traffic in the Helsinki region and reduce the use of public transport: based on the model review, the Sörnäistentunneli will increase the number of passenger or passenger journeys by about 1,900 per day.
Correspondingly, the tunnel reduces the number of public transport journeys by 1,000 per day. The total number of trips for walking and cycling will be reduced by 600 per day.
Heinäluoma however, the calculations do not take into account the development of the region as a whole.
“The calculation model is not perfect and does not describe the development of the area very well. It doesn’t take into account that when cars are taken underground, the area becomes more comfortable and safer for walkers and cyclists, ”he says.
“The area is not currently not very comfortable. Especially at Kalasatama metro station, you can shuttle as a cyclist. ”
Haystack and Coalition Risto Rautava received a counter-proposal at the meeting of the Urban Environment Board, according to which the further design of the tunnel will pay special attention to the design of the openings and their suitability for the urban environment.
In addition, emphasis will be placed on the comfort and smoothness of pedestrian and cycling conditions by designing the crossing bridges of the Sörnäinen coastal road, especially from the point of view of cycling, in a smooth manner.
Green have opposed the project throughout its design, in particular because car traffic is expected to increase.
“When driving is made smooth, more people switch to driving. Why would we want to increase car traffic when, on the contrary, it should be reduced? ” says the city councilor and a member of the urban environment committee Otso Kivekäs.
According to the Greens, the planned tunnel is too expensive a way to solve the confusion in Suvilahti’s traffic. According to the party, the tunnel will not solve the problems of the walking environment or the flow of car traffic, but will move them elsewhere.
Helsinki the city outlines in its new strategy that the city’s carbon neutrality target be brought forward to 2030. The target requires, among other things, a reduction in traffic emissions.
According to Kivekkä, the plan, which computationally increases the number of trips made by cars, contradicts the goal.
“It’s hard to see this as in line with the strategy.”