Helsinki’s Crown Bridges Project, a massive infrastructure initiative, has reached a significant milestone. It involves the construction of three new bridges and a tramway connecting Hakaniemi to Laajasalo, along with extensive civil engineering, road construction, and municipal infrastructure work. The project is now over halfway completed and remains on schedule, with passenger tram service set to commence in 2027.
Progress in Hakaniemi and Kruununhaka Areas
The first completed segment of this ambitious project was the Näkinsilta bridge, dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists, inaugurated in June. Noisy waterfront retaining wall construction, pile driving, and municipal infrastructure work in areas like Pohjoisranta, Hakaniemenranta, Merihaankatu, and Miina Sillanpäänkatu are largely finished.
One of the most extensive projects involves replacing the pressure sewage pipe from the city center. This includes temporary arrangements and a new pumping station beneath Näkinsilta. The unique steel structure of the new Hakaniemi Bridge is also fully installed.
Remaining tasks include completing the Hakaniemi Bridge, demolishing the old one, constructing Merihaan Bridge, securing legal water permits for dredging and filling near Merihaa, and renovating Siltasaarenkatu.
Maritime Work Around Korkeasaari
The central tramway bridge, Finkensilta, connecting Kalasataman Nihti and Korkeasaari, is nearing completion. Kruunuvuorensilta, Finland’s longest bridge at 1200 meters, is making progress. It has had over 400 meters of bridge deck cast, and the foundation work for the central support, the pylon, is complete. This pylon will rise to the bridge deck level, reaching its final height of 135 meters in 2025 when steel cables supporting the bridge deck will be installed. Tramway tracks, electrical systems, and road and tramway construction around Korkeasaari are ongoing.
Progress in Laajasalo
In Kruunuvuorenranta’s Haakoninlahti, tracks and shared utility poles are ready to support street lighting and tramway overhead lines. The largest municipal infrastructure works on Koirasaarentie are nearly complete. The significant upcoming task involves reducing a steep hill at the eastern end of Koirasaarentie to accommodate the tramway, requiring extensive rock excavation.
The Crown Bridges Project aims to provide a swift and reliable transport connection from Laajasalo to the city center. It will alleviate congestion in the eastern branches of the metro system and make various areas accessible by bicycle or on foot. The shortest route from Kruunuvuorenranta to the Central Railway Station will decrease from 11 km to 5.5 km.
Construction began in autumn 2021, with Helsinki City Council approving the project’s maximum price in August 2021. The contract for the total project was awarded to YIT Suomi Oy and Kreate Oy in spring 2021.
The Alliance, selected as the implementer of the light rail section in late 2019, initiated a development phase in collaboration with the City of Helsinki. The decision to implement the project was made by Helsinki City Council in August 2016.
A transport connection design competition took place between 2011 and 2013, with the winning proposal being Gemma Regalis, designed by WSP Finland Ltd and Knight Architects Ltd.