NFRASTRUCTURE MUST BE MAINTAINED ON A LONG-TERM BASIS
In Finland, the condition of the transportation network has gradually deteriorated. The management of the accumulated investment gap must be rationalized so that the state, municipality and privately-owned transportation infrastructure can be functionally repaired as soon as possible. In addition, on both the state and municipality level, the development of the transportation system must be agreed upon with long-term policy guidelines which stretch over legislative periods.
Ensuring an adequate transportation service level throughout the country and developing the transportation services must be set as the most important goals of the development guidelines. New transportation services utilizing fast-developing technology and digital solutions can only be constructed based on up-to-date information, strong expertise and a sound physical infrastructure. In order to improve this capacity, education and research in the industry, as well as the number of international connections, must be increased.
Finland’s public transportation network consists of almost half a million kilometers of road and rail routes and waterways, as well as dozens of ports and airports. The combined value of the transportation infrastructure is approximately 55 billion euros, 80% of which consists of public roads, the municipal street network, and forest and other private roads.
The condition of the national transportation infrastructure has continuously deteriorated. The estimated investment gap for public roads is, at the moment, 2.4 billion euros, and, at the current level of funding, the growth rate is approximately 100 million euros a year. Also the municipal road and street network has suffered due to the scarcity of repairs and maintenance. Experts have estimated the investment gap for the municipal transportation infrastructure to be approximately 2.5 billion euros.
In addition to public routes, there are a total of 358,000 kilometers of private roads drivable by car, of which 90,000 kilometers are in the use of permanent residents. There are approximately 120,000 kilometers of built forest roads and approximately 110,000 kilometers of forest roads and roads leading to summer cottages which are drivable by car. According to estimates, there are as many as 30,000 bridges and culverts on private road sections.
There is no existing calculation of the investment gap for private roads. Approximately 15,000 kilometers of roads serving residential areas have a weak carrying capacity or otherwise require structural reconstruction. Of the bridges and culverts, some five thousand require repair. These structures have accumulated an investment gap of roughly 500 million euros. The condition of private roads bears significance, as the industrial raw material chains and transports presuppose functional private roads.
Grade: The increasing investment gap still poses a significant problem. However, the investment gap program for the national transportation network, investments in rail transport, ports and the Helsinki–Vantaa Airport, and the promotion of transport services and digital solutions improve the overall grade.