RENOVATION OF THE OUNASKOSKI BRIDGE IN CENTRAL ROVANIEMI

FSP has received the largest Finnish bridge project order in company history. From March to October 2018, the final project entails surface treating the 400-metre-long Ounaskoski rail and road bridge in northern Finland. This is one of the most notable investment of the year in Rovaniemi.

The bridge is being renovated by Destia Rail, which chose FSP as its partner following a tendering process. According to Destia Rail Foreman Mika Tuokila, the decision was based on three key factors.

“Our surface treatment partner must be a large enough company for a project of this scope. Only one or two bridge projects of comparable size are undertaken in Finland per year, which makes ours one of the largest in the country in 2018,” he says.

Positive experiences of FSP in demanding bridge projects emerged as the second main reason in the deliberation process. These included the renovation project of Rovaniemi’s Markkasuvanto bridge in 2013, on which the two partners had previously collaborated.
FSP is familiar with Rovaniemi’s other bridges, too, as it carried out surface treatment on the Jätkänkynttilä cable-stayed bridge in summer 2011 and the Suutarinkorva rail bridge in summer 2010.

The third key factor Tuokila highlights is the need for a partner to bring to the know-how, expertise and a genuine motivation to undertake demanding projects, whose completion requires from all parties cost-effectiveness and flexibility. Tight schedules have to be respected, without compromising quality.

 

A NEW AND IMPROVED LANDMARK

The large-scale project began in October 2017 after Destia started building light-vehicle paths on both sides of the bridge. The new routes will be both wider and more user-friendly.
The project continued in early 2018, when Destia started work on renovating the rail and road bridge itself. All traffic was redirected via the Jätkänkynttilä bridge.

”Closing the bridge was the only way to renovate the old bridge. The bridge is closed to traffic for eight months with the exception of trains, during which time we will carry out technical work, surface treatment work, asphalting, paving and much more. Once our work is done, we will have a more modern bridge, and one of Rovaniemi’s landmarks will get the look it deserves,” Tuokila recounts.

 

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE HEART OF ROVANIEMI

FSP’s part in the project began in mid-March, when it started sand blasting the bridge of rust, old coating and other impurities. The bridge had previously been maintained in the 1940s and 1970s.
“The steel structures of the bridge were in need of maintenance, as they had rusted and visually, the bridge was not pleasant to look at. Decades of salting the roads and constant traffic had corroded the bridge, which sees around 10,000 vehicles a day, as well as cyclists and pedestrians,” Tuokila explains.

“Environmental protection takes centre stage in the project, which is carried out in central Rovaniemi in the immediate vicinity of residential areas. This is why blasting sand used on the site will be collected,” says FSP’s Business Unit Manager Henri Kiminki.

 

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY

The project makes use of protective covering, which prevents the dust from sand blasting from spreading into the surrounding environment. Surface treatment consists of four layers of paint, which are selected according to the client’s standards. Quality is strictly controlled through documentation and inspections, which cover the entire surface treatment system. The surface treatment process is monitored by Ramboll Oy.

“One of the most interesting challenges we face in this project is the tight schedule, which our extremely flexible working methods have prepared us for,” says Kiminki.

In the early stages FSP works in a single shift, but will gradually move to a two-shift system as the weather conditions become more forgiving. In addition to supervisor Kari Holm, FSP has eight surface treatment professionals on site, a figure that will rise to about fourteen with up to two supervisors as the works pick up pace.

The renovated bridge is scheduled to be reopened in late 2018 at the earliest.

 

THE OUNASKOSKI BRIDGE RENOVATION

Located in central Rovaniemi in the north of Finland, the Ounaskoski rail and road bridge is a steel through truss bridge over Ounaskoski in river Kemijoki. The upper deck serves railway traffic, while the lower deck is used by vehicle traffic between the city, the Ounasvaara area and other neighbouring regions. The vehicle deck is flanked by paths for cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge is one of Rovaniemi’s main land- marks.

During the renovation project, the 400-metre-long and eight-metre-wide bridge will undergo surface treatment, the vehicle deck will be asphalted and the light-vehicle paths, currently two metres wide, will be extended to a width of three metres. The light-vehicle steel overhang structures will be dismantled on both sides of the bridge, and redone.

The scope of the renovation also includes lighting and rails as well as the planking of the light-vehicle paths. The rails on the upper deck will be renewed and the track macadam re- placed. The bridge is owned by the Finnish Transport Agency. The project is carried out by Destia Rail Oy. The total cost of the renovation is around 7.4 million euros.

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