The West Harbour will be prepared to receive all traffic on the Tallinn route in the future. The prerequisite and first stage of the centralisation project of port operations is to build a harbour tunnel between the West Harbour and Länsiväylä Western Highway. The tunnel will significantly improve the harbour’s vehicle traffic connections.

The harbour tunnel will direct the cargo traffic and a significant proportion of the harbour’s car traffic underground in Jätkäsaari and Ruoholahti. This will improve air quality, reduce traffic noise and facilitate transport in Jätkäsaari. The centralisation will reduce car traffic in the South Harbour and Katajanokka and make it run smoother in the city centre. 

Harbour tunnel to improve the accessibility of the West Harbour

The harbour tunnel serving all vehicle traffic in the West Harbour will significantly improve the harbour’s accessibility. In the future, the harbour tunnel will serve all heavy goods vehicle transport in the West Harbour and also majority of the passenger car traffic between the harbour and Länsiväylä Western Highway.

Once the tunnel has been completed, about half of the car traffic in the West Harbour will use the harbour tunnel, facilitating smooth traffic between the harbour and Länsiväylä Western Highway. Cars travelling north or east will likely to continue to use the street network. However, street traffic in Jätkäsaari will become less congested when the heavy goods vehicle traffic from the harbour is moved to the tunnel.

The harbour tunnel serving all vehicle traffic in the West Harbour will significantly improve the harbour’s accessibility. 

A new terminal and more harbour space

The new West Terminal 1 (T1) will also promote the centralisation of Tallinn traffic. It will house passenger and office facilities as well as commercial services and parking spaces. The objective is to offer a better passenger experiences and produce services for passengers, office users and city residents alike.

The harbour quay and marshalling areas in the West Harbour will also be expanded. The changes will create long-awaited additional space, which will allow for the internal harbour traffic to be reorganised to meet with shipping schedules, for example. 

The harbour operations will also be streamlined with measures such as automation, digitalisation and environmental impact management. 

Environmental impacts assessed

The environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the harbour tunnel construction and the quay expansion in the West Harbour has been completed, with both projects being deemed viable. The assessment covered the environmental impacts of the different project options and presented methods for mitigating negative impacts.

The Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), which carried out the assessment, concluded that all of the assessed project options were sufficiently comprehensively researched in terms of the measures to be implemented in the harbour area.

The next step in the planning process is for the Port of Helsinki to draw up more detailed plans addressing the issues highlighted in the ELY Centre’s conclusion.