New paint cover for Ounaskoski Bridge on schedule

Rovaniemi’s Ounaskoski railway and road bridge in northern Finland was opened again for traffic in the beginning of November, after a major renovation that lasted over a year. The nearly 70-year-old bridge received a whole new paint cover, new railings and lighting, the car lane a new asphalt and much more space for cyclists.

FSP was in charge, on this year’s March-November, of the over 400-meter-long bridge’s surface treatment undertaking, in accordance to the agreed schedule. In total, the number of painted square meters amounted to 23 000. It was one of the biggest bridge contracts in Finland this year and the biggest single bridge project in FSP’s history. 

”This was a big bridge with five stream pillars, a road and a railway track on top of each other. This certainly won’t happen again on my career,” describes Destia Rail Site Manager Mika Tuokila

Continuing the renovation with surface treatment demanded that the bridge, which is essential to city traffic, was closed for eight months.


Closing the bridge for the duration of the surface treatment work made the staying on schedule a critical factor, but the work proceeded fluently during the project, according to plan. The work was carried out in several shifts, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week in total. 

According to Tuokila, the citizens of Rovaniemi responded well to the closing of the bridge. 

”Practically all it took, was to put a “bridge closed” sign on both ends of the bridge.” 

”Discussion contact with FSP remained great and the changes during the project were reacted as needed. The final stretch was very good. The bridge renovation, on the whole, proceeded to its goal on schedule. Resourcing was very good, when the right people were in the right place at the right time,” Tuokila continues. 

In charge of the renovation of the bridge was Destia Rail, from whom the contract was ordered by the city of Rovaniemi and Liikennevirasto – Finnish Transport Agency. 

Now the bridge is once again ready for heavy-duty use: a railway runs on its upper deck and below it is the roadway whereas the sides are reserved for non-motorised traffic.


During the project light traffic lanes were renewed, rails changed, a maintenance cover built and the road got a new asphalt. From car traffic perspective, the bridge works in the same way as before. The light traffic in- stead received new, wider than before lanes on both sides of the bridge and they can be traveled by bicycle in both directions. At the same time they offer the tourists in Rovaniemi a center stage view of Ounasjoki river to admire. 

Earlier there were only pedestrian sidewalks, on which cycling was limited. The stream pillars are also more dashing than before. During the renovation, the pillar seams were renewed and lighting was added to them also. 

FSP surface treatment work covered the surface treatment work and painting of all of the steel bridge. Steel beams received a whole new paint cover. The steel structure and the Arctic location of Rovaniemi set challenging conditions for surface treatment work during wintertime. 

”The steel had to be warmed up to plus degrees, so that water won’t be condensated on the surface while sandblasting. Icy steel can’t be painted either,” Tuokila says.


The bridge project was undertaken over a river system, which made protection of the environment a key consideration. The bridge was covered during the surface treatment, so that the sandblasting material or the paint could not spread in the surroundings. The cover functioned as a protection from the elements, equipped inside with heaters for the freezing winter, and in the summer heat it shielded direct sunlight.

The bridge, divided to eight sections, was sandblast- ed and painted in phases. At the same time corrosion damage from decades of wear and tear and road salt was repaired. The bridge received four coats of paint on it. 

The bridge is now ready for even heavy duty use. It is to be expected that the Ounaskoski bridge traffic will continue with previous amounts, which is about 10 000 vehicles per day. 

Vuonna 2018 FSP vastasi Suomessa myös Vårdön tieliikennesillan, Friitalan tieliikennesillan ja Kraaselinsalmen ratasillan pintakäsittelytöistä. 

In the year 2018 FSP was also in charge of the surface treatment of Vårdö roadway bridge, Friitala roadway bridge and Kraaselinsalmi railway bridge.