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Tramlines for the streets of Tampere – the busiest phase of the tramway project is starting

Published 23.3.2018 9.26

The construction of part 1 of the Tampere tramway (city centre–Hervanta–Tampere University Hospital) is progressing according to plan and the current year will be the busiest in the project when it comes to construction work. This year’s target for building new two-track line is five kilometres, i.e. a total of 20 kilometres of new track, for the streets of Tampere. Most of the tramline stops as well as the largest tramway bridges near Hervannan valtaväylä will also be constructed this year. Work continues at both ends of Hämeenkatu. The construction of the buildings for the depot area in Hervanta will start in the autumn.

Illustration of a tramway in Hervanta
 

The construction of part 1 of the Tampere tramway (city centre–Hervanta–Tampere University Hospital) is progressing according to plan and the current year will be the busiest in the project when it comes to construction work. This year’s target for building new two-track line is five kilometres, i.e. a total of 20 kilometres of new track, for the streets of Tampere. Most of the tramline stops as well as the largest tramway bridges near Hervannan valtaväylä will also be constructed this year. Work continues at both ends of Hämeenkatu. The construction of the buildings for the depot area in Hervanta will start in the autumn.

- “This year will also see the construction of a great number of technical systems, such as power supply stations, safety devices, traffic lights, lighting, power feeders and overhead lines," says Mikko Nyhä, Project Manager at the Tramway Alliance.

Construction will pick up pace in March–April when the weather gets warmer. Due to the cold winter, frost runs deep, and this may slightly affect the planned start dates of certain work phases.

Changes to bus routes due to tramway construction

The slab track and rails are being installed this year on all the streets under construction. For instance, On Sammonkatu, the target is to get the slab track ready for the total length of the street. On Hämeenkatu, work is underway in its western end between the Tuulensuu block and Keskustori square, and between Rautatienkatu and Aleksanterinkatu in the eastern end. A water supply line is being moved in the area between Hämeensilta and Keskustori.

Due to tramway construction work at the western end of Hämeenkatu, starting on 19 March, public transport will partly be diverted to a new route when travelling from east to west on Hämeenkatu. Buses will drive past Raatihuone onto Aleksis Kiven katu, Puutarhakatu and Hämeenpuisto and past the main library Metso to Pirkankatu. To get from Keskustori to Aleksis Kiven katu, buses drive along a temporary, fenced driveway that has been constructed in front of Raatihuone. Driving from west to east between Tuulensuu and Keskustori, buses will use Hämeenkatu.

Buses will also be diverted to new routes in Hervanta, where they will be driving according to alternative traffic arrangements via Hervannan valtaväylä starting on 19 March. Insinöörinkatu will be closed for vehicle traffic between Orivedenkatu and Opiskelijankatu and between Lindforsinkatu and Teekkarinkatu. In addition, Insinöörinkatu will be changed into a one-way street between Orivedenkatu and Kanjoninkatu, with the direction of driving being towards Kanjoninkatu. Taxi ranks will be moved from their current place in front of Duo shopping centre to Lindforsinkatu.

On Itsenäisyydenkatu, work in the tunnel underneath the railway tracks will continue during the spring so that, in April-May, east-to-west traffic will be moved to the north side of the tunnel and west-to-east traffic to the south side of the tunnel. In late summer, construction work will move to the south side of the tunnel and traffic will be directed to the north side of the tunnel in both directions.

New tramway bridges for Hervannan valtaväylä

The largest tramway bridges will be constructed this year. Work on the new Vacker underpass bridge that crosses main road 9 launched in November 2017 is moving forward with the moulds going in and the cover being poured in the summer. Work on the new Koivusenoja bridge, which is a combined tramway, pedestrian and cycling bridge across the canyon area, will commence in February and the cover will be poured by the end of the summer. Preliminary work on the Hallinoja tramway bridge will also be launched in the summer.

All in all, eight existing bridges will be altered and eight completely new bridges will be constructed in the tramway project. The total combined length of completely new bridges required by the tramway is over 600 metres. Work on half of the bridges, i.e. primarily the alteration work on the existing bridges, was already completed last year.

A multidimensional set of technical systems for the tramway

Several technical systems will be constructed for part 1 of the tramway in addition to the surface structure, i.e. the slab track and rails. This year, such work includes systems relating to power feeders, the safety devices for controlled rail switches, traffics lights and other lighting for the streets and the overhead lines for the tramway.

- “The work and schedules will be planned carefully among the experts of the Tramway Alliance to ensure the compatibility of all the systems built for the tramway," says Mikko Nyhä.

The electrification of the tramway has commenced with the construction of power feeders and power supply stations in Hervanta and along Hervannan valtaväylä. Ten power supply stations to be adapted to the existing street environment will be constructed for the first part of the tramway. The power supply station on Itsenäisyydenkatu will be placed under the street area. The quantity and placement of the supply stations is such that the failure of one station does not prevent the continued operation of the tram cars.

The project costs are in line with the target

The implementation phase of the tramway project has progressed as planned. The targeted cost for part 1 approved by Tampere City Council was approximately EUR 219 million. The project content has been specified during the implementation phase, and the adjusted targeted cost is now EUR 232.4 million.

– “Currently, the work is 18 per cent complete and roughly one quarter of the project time has been used. These numbers will be available throughout the project on the City of Tampere website," says Ville-Mikael Tuominen, who is the Project Director for the Tramway Development Programme at the City of Tampere.

To meet the wishes of the City of Tampere, the Tramway Alliance will also implement separately procured synergic road construction and water supply work in connection with the tramway construction. At the moment, the share of road construction work is EUR 5.4 million and the share of water supply work is EUR 7.2 million.

As requested by the City of Tampere, more construction work than that required for the tramway will be carried out on the street areas and pavements of Hämeenkatu and Sammonkatu. Construction of pavements will take place on Hämeenkatu this year in the Tuulensuu block at the west end of the street and between Rautatienkatu and Tuomiokirkonkatu at the east end of the street. Road construction carried out simultaneously with the construction of the tramway will save time and lower the overall costs and also reduce the interruptions caused by construction work. It is for the same reason that the Tramway Alliance also refurbishes and renews the water supply network when moving lines and pipes as required by the tramway.

Design and development phase of part 2 has started

The Tramway Alliance has initiated the development of and calculation of the targeted cost for part 2 of the tramway, which runs from Pyynikintori via Hiedanranta to Lentävänniemi. This includes determining the targeted cost for a single-line track from Hiedanranta to Lielahdenkatu. The Tampere City Board gave its approval for initiating the design and development phase of part 2 of the tramway last December. The route for the tramline between Sepänkatu and Santalahti was approved by the City Board earlier this year, on 12 February. The solution selected from among the proposed routes was “the Bridge" in which the tramway runs through the Santalahti area between Rantatie and Paasikiventie and crosses Paasikiventie on a 100-metre overpass bridge located west of the Santalahti residential area. The City Board aims to decide on the construction of part 2 of the tramway in October 2020 at the latest.

Information regarding the effects of the tramway construction work and traffic arrangements will be provided as the work continues in the affected areas in various channels of the Tramway Alliance: raitiotieallianssi.fi, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

Further information

Project Manager, Tramway Alliance
Mikko Nyhä
VR Track Oy
tel. +358 40 863 0450

CEO
Pekka Sirviö
Tampereen Raitiotie Oy
tel. +358 40 334 5798

Project Director, Tramway Development Programme
Ville-Mikael Tuominen
City of Tampere
tel. +358 50 343 0700

Design Manager
Juha-Pekka Häyrynen
Tampere Regional Transport
tel. +358 50 552 6124

Bus timetables and routes during tramway construction:
Tampere Regional Transport


Text Marja Merta

Photos Illustration of a tramway in Hervanta


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