Helsinki City Council has approved a general plan for a pedestrian and cycling underpass connecting the Kansalaistori square and Kaisaniemi. This route will constitute the main cycling connection in the Helsinki city centre. The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately 23 million euros.
The underpass will run underneath the Helsinki Central Railway Station rail yard. It will connect incoming cycling routes from eastern and western Helsinki to the city centre. The underpass will be located north of the current pedestrian underpass extending from the Kaisaniemi park to the Elielinaukio square.
The goal of the project is to provide a direct and fast connection from Länsibaana – that is, the express cycling route from the western inner city in Ruoholahti via underneath Mannerheimintie to the Töölö bay area – to the eastern side of the rail yard, first to the Kaisaniemi park and further to the east and to the north. The route will be the main cycling connection in the city centre.
The new underpass is expected to boost the appeal of cycling and to improve the coverage of the cycling network.
The investment programme of the Helsinki city budget makes a reservation for the project implementation in 2019–2023. The construction of the underpass is estimated to take two years.
Project investigations for the new connection included two alternatives to implement the connection with a bridge. The related discussions conducted in conjunction with the general plan preparation and feasibility study involved representatives of the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, and Senate Properties, which manages a major part of the real estate assets owned by the Finnish state. Helsinki residents provided feedback on the plans through various channels, including an open meeting held at the Kaisaniemi park and the Kerro kantasi online feedback service.