The Helsinki City Council approved the controversial traffic tunnel

The Helsinki City Council has approved the construction of a new traffic tunnel in the Sörnäinen area of ​​the capital.

The 1.6-kilometer-long tunnel is estimated to cost € 180 million and is intended to facilitate north-south traffic by moving cars – especially in the Kalasatama, Suvilahti and Teurastamo areas – underground.

The controversial project has been the subject of years of heated political debate that continued at the Council meeting that preceded the vote on Wednesday night.

The strongest opposition to the tunnel was the Left Alliance and the Green Party, and the Left Alliance Mia Haglund expresses its disappointment at the outcome of the Council’s vote.

"Of course it’s annoying and it should annoy everyone," Haglund said.

Green Party Plenipotentiary Anni Sinnemäki – who is also the deputy mayor responsible for Helsinki’s urban environment – repeated Haglund’s comments, adding that the tunnel is taking the capital’s urban planning in the wrong direction.

"The aim is to reduce emissions and increase the tunnel," he said, adding that instead of a project to facilitate the use of city cars, he would have liked a design that would support walking, cycling and public transport.

Representatives of the NCP want the approval of the Council

Proponents of the tunnel project in the council – especially members of the Coalition Party (NCP) – welcomed the approval and said they saw the effects and benefits of the tunnel differently than opponents of the project.

Authorized by the NCP Daniel Sazonov stated that the tunnel is a prerequisite for the construction of new environmentally friendly transport solutions, such as high-speed rail networks.

"An extensive transport solution is being sought here and the tunnel makes this possible," Sazonov said.

Construction could begin as early as next year with the goal of opening the tunnel to traffic by the early 2030s.

Source: The Nordic Page


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