Excavation on the twin 13.5km Savio railway tunnels for the Vuosaari Harbour in Finland is due to start this month.

Contracts worth US$85M for the roughly 70m² section tunnel from Porvoo to Savio (T&TI, October 2004, p6) were signed in early December last year. The scope was broken into five discrete contracts and the winning bids were submitted by Lemcon Infra, YIT Construction Ltd and Kalliorakennus TK Vyyryläinen & Co. Oy.

Lemcon Infra won the 4.1km long TU 3 contract which also includes an access tunnel and a ventilation shaft, valued at US$21M. It also won a 1.62km length of tunnel worth US$9M under contract TU 6. YIT won almost half the tunnel length with 6km of tunnel by securing contracts TU 2 and TU5, valued in combination at US$31.4M. The remaining contract TU4 was won by Kalliorakennus and features an 850m length of tunnel.

Acknowledged to be the biggest undertaking in connection with the Vuosaari Harbour project, excavation will be by drill and blast, with the tunnel being driven at depths of up to 60m below the surface. All five of the Savio tunnel contracts are due to be completed by 2007.

Work got underway on Skanska‘s tunnel contracts on the project in October last year with a first blast ceremony. The scope includes a 600m rail tunnel and twin 1.7km long road tunnels 10m wide by 9m high.

The Vuosaari Harbour project is being administered by the City of Helsinki and the Finnish state government. Spoil from the tunnels is being used in the new harbour development as fill.