To be opened in the afternoon today on October 8, 2019, the first phase of the new Veturitie will greatly increase the capacity of car traffic in Pasila. Together with Mall of Tripla and Pasila station, both of which are scheduled to open in mid-October, it also represents a significant improvement in the daily life of cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users in the area.
The grand opening of Mall of Tripla and the new Pasila station will be celebrated in mid-October. The area was taken over by pyrotechnic effects and bright lights of a different sort at the beginning of the month, when the Rescue Department used smoke machines and scrap vehicles to conduct two rescue drills in the Teollisuuskatu tunnel under Tripla. Both of the rehearsals went well, and the fire safety authorities gave the green light to have the road opened to the public. The permission from the authorities was the final confirmation for opening the new connections in Pasila — the Teollisuuskatu tunnel and part of Veturitie — to car traffic on October 8.
“It’s not every day that nearly a kilometre of entirely new road is opened for use in the middle of Helsinki. We’ve been building this for four years and the end result represents the work of thousands of professionals,” says Construction Manager Aapo Urjanheimo from YIT.
Project Director Harri Verkamo from the City of Helsinki is certain that the new streets will make daily life easier for a large number of people in Helsinki.
“We are seeing the concrete realisation of several major changes that we have been working on for quite some time. Veturitie will become one of the largest routes for cars entering and passing through Helsinki. The first section of Veturitie has now been reopened to traffic in a different location than where it was previously. The new and improved Veturitie provides convenient access to Tripla and the area to its north. We have also introduced an entirely new route for people to use in the Pasila area: a direct tunnel connection between Teollisuuskatu and Veturitie. In the past, drivers have had to use a narrower route through Ratapihantie and Pasilansilta bridge,” Verkamo explains.
Verkamo points out that the opening of Veturitie and the Teollisuuskatu tunnel does not involve the replacement or closure of any existing roads. Instead, they are entirely new shortcuts that will make it more efficient for people to get around the city.
Roads designed for larger traffic volumes
While the new roads will bring immediate relief to traffic in the Pasila area, they are mainly designed with future needs in mind. As Pasila and the nearby areas will be the subject of major development going forward, the capacity of roads has been calculated to accommodate much larger traffic volumes than at present.
“Plans for the street network are usually made with a time horizon of 15–20 years. The new Veturitie is designed to be a permanent solution with the capacity to serve a substantial increase in traffic volume. It takes into account the population growth in the area as well as the major traffic projects that will affect the nearby areas, such as the upgrades to Tuusulanväylä and Hakamäentie,” says Verkamo, who previously worked as a traffic planner for the City of Helsinki.
The main simulations that serve as the foundation of traffic planning were conducted using projected data for the year 2035. Forecasts indicate that the Teollisuuskatu tunnel will be used by an average of approximately 15,000 vehicles per day. The traffic volumes increase further towards Hakamäentie: Tripla will have some 35,000 vehicles passing by every day, and Hartwall Areena in excess of 45,000. Currently, in autumn 2019, the traffic volumes are much lower.
More space for bicycles, pedestrians and public transport
The benefits of the new streets and tunnels in the Pasila area go beyond just people who drive. According to Verkamo, the opening of the shopping centre and station marks an improvement in the daily life of public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians as well.
“When drivers learn to use the new Veturitie and the Teollisuuskatu tunnel, car traffic on the Pasila bridge will be reduced. Wider footpaths and bicycle lanes will be introduced on both sides of the Pasila bridge, and stylish shelters have been built in the Pasila station area. In addition, all of the station’s pedestrian areas are heated. There is parking for 500 bicycles next to the station, and many times more in Tripla,” Verkamo says.
The access routes for public transport users with connections in Pasila are better than usual. The bus and tram stops and taxi stands are all located in front of the station hall. Their areas are larger than before and there is more room to wait.
The station hall that serves train passenger has also been upgraded. Now larger than before, it is directly connected to the adjacent shopping centre.
The opening of Mall of Tripla and the station hall means that the temporary Pasila station can be retired. Demolition work on the facility will begin in January 2020. Most of the work will take place at night.
“The temporary station has served its purpose well. If it hadn’t been built, the old station would have had to be demolished and the new one built in several phases, which would have extended the construction time for Tripla as a whole by nearly two years,” Urjanheimo explains.
Jarkko Salmenoja, Senior Vice President, Traffic Infrastructure, tel. +358 40 356 7057, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Kauppinen, Communications Manager, YIT Oyj, tel. +358 40 5743 170, email@example.com
YIT is the largest Finnish and significant North European construction company. We develop and build apartments and living services, business premises and entire areas. We are also specialised in demanding infrastructure construction and paving. Together with our customers, our nearly 10,000 professionals are creating more functional, attractive and sustainable cities and environments. We work in 11 countries: Finland, Russia, Scandinavia, Baltic Countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The new YIT was born when over 100-year-old YIT Corporation and Lemminkäinen Corporation merged on February 1, 2018. Our restated pro forma revenue for 2018 was approximately EUR 3.2 billion. YIT Corporation's share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy. www.yitgroup.com