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Report: Finnish transport infra in need of 2.4 billion in repairs

A parliamentary working group report from the Ministry of Transport and Communications has found that the condition of transport infrastructure in Finland has deteriorated over the span of several consecutive governments. The group said that government will have to dig deep and spend big to restore road and rail routes to acceptable standards.

Helsingin keskustassa satoi lunta 21. marraskuuta 2014.
A parliamentary working group chaired by Minister of Transport and Local Government Paula Risikko considers it imperative that funding for road maintenance be increased. Image: Aku Häyrynen/ Lehtikuva

A parliamentary working group released a report on Friday saying the state of roads, railways and waterways in Finland is developing in a worrying direction.

“The condition of our traffic routes has deteriorated for many years, and we have accumulated a repair deficit whose growth must be controlled,” said Transport Minister Paula Risikko.

The total repair deficit is currently estimated at 2.4 billion euros, representing the funds required to restore the transport infrastructure to an acceptable state that would correspond to present need.

According to the working group, funding for basic infrastructure maintenance should be increased annually by 100 million euros from its current amount, if it wants to stave off further deterioration of the network - and greater costs.

Even this, however, is not enough to reduce the deficit, as an additional 50 million per year would be required for that purpose. This annual injection of 50 million euros would be needed to keep pace with daily maintenance and repair, among other things.

The parliamentary working group led by Risikko contained members of every party represented in Parliament, along with experts from the Transport and Communications Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Transport Agency.

The Ministry of Transport and Communication is responsible for maintaining and developing the transport infrastructure of the country. Transport infrastructure includes all roads and streets, private roads, railways, maritime and inland waterways, and the metro and tram systems.

The Finnish Transport Agency, which operates under the direction of the Ministry, is responsible for road, railway and waterway maintenance. The Transport Agency outsources this work to businesses through competitive tendering.

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