Construction, Estonia, EU – Baltic States, Innovations, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 22.09.2023, 04:48

Minister: Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel a project of natl importance

BC, Tallinn, 12.02.2019.Print version
Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson on Monday described the project for a railway tunnel between Tallinn and Helsinki as a project of national importance for Estonia, informed LETA/BNS.

Simson met on Monday with Peter Vesterbacka, representative of the Finnish company Finest Bay Area Development OY, to get familiar with the current state of play regarding the project and possible next steps. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is of the opinion that a railway tunnel between Estonia and Finland is a project of national importance, spokespeople for the ministry said.

"The project led by Vesterbacka for sure is intriguing, but we can still see several loose ends in it regarding which questions of course remain. For instance, it's important for us that in addition to the location of the stop at Tallinn Ulemiste an additional stop in Tallinn's city center should be weighed as an alternative. According to those leading the project, this possibility exists and different alternatives are being mulled," Simson said.

"It is clear that a tunnel between Tallinn and Helsinki would be good for both countries and enable to connect our airports in such manner that in the future it would be possible to transit between them in about 20 minutes," the minister said.

The area covered by the plan embraces four different track options for the tunnel, from among which the most suitable one will be chosen in the course of the planning. In addition to the tunnel, the plan of Vesterbacka calls for the establishment of two artificial islands -- one in the territorial waters of Estonia and the other of Finland.

"It is noted in the Finest Bay Area project application that also a standing deepwater harbor with a fairway and a quay could be established next to the artificial island. Since in our opinion the application fails to mention why such deepwater harbor is necessary and what it is intended to be used for, we also inquired with Vesterbacka about said possibility. From their explanations the impression is left at the moment that one means the artificial island on the Finnish side, where the developers are planning to establish dwellings for 50,000 people and hotel accommodation for 10,000 people," Simson said.

Finest Bay Area Development at the beginning of December 2018 filed an application with the government of Estonia for the initiation of a national designated spatial plan for an undersea tunnel between the two capitals. The government has time until the end of February to decide about whether or not to open the procedure. 

Search site