Assessment Phase Begins For Finland-Estonia Tunnel (5)

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
4/3/2014 12:34 PM
Category: Economy

The Harju County government will officially announce today their stake in a project to determine the profitability of a permanent tunnel link between Tallinn and Helsinki.

The Harju County government, the Tallinn and Helsinki city governments, and the Fehmarn Belt Foundation from Denmark are preparing the project Talsinkifix, a preliminary survey on the profitability of a permanent link between Tallinn and Helsinki.

The preliminary survey collects all previous surveys to give a scientifically grounded preliminary assessment based on analysis to whether and under which circumstances a permanent link between the two capitals would be feasible.

The option of a tunnel or combinations of tunnels and bridges will be analyzed and the final report is expected early next year.

The total cost of the Talsinkifix project is 100,000 euros and 85 percent of it is covered by the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) Seed Money Facility.

The permanent link is highlighted in Estonia's national comprehensive plan Estonia 2030+, the county plan of Harju county and the comprehensive plan of the Viimsi rural municipality.

Whereas Estonia is optimistic about the Talsinkifix project, Finland has not yet decided whether the 9-billion euro project is economically viable.

Ulla Tapaninen, an international logistics specialist from Helsinki’s planning department, said Finland’s capital has no specific plan yet, even though Estonia has already published an official strategy that sees the tunnel operational by 2030, Yle TV reported on Wednesday.

She said if the tunnel proves to be profitable, further plans can be made. Although the volumes of people and goods have increased in recent years, the numbers are not sufficient as of now, she added.

If the project is approved, it will be linked to Rail Baltica, scheduled to be completed by 2024.


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