The first section of Tampere’s long-awaited tram network is nearing completion, according to the 'tramway alliance' behind the project.
The alliance has been working on the project for three and a half years.
This first section covers the eastbound two-branch line from Pyynikintori to Hervantajärvi and to Tampere University Hospital, as well as the Hatanpää motorway at the Hämeentie junction.
“This is a historical moment, as the most important work phase of the first part of the Tampere tramway, the track works, are now being completed,” said Sari Valjus, the tramway alliance’s project director, in a press released published on Thursday.
Installation of a light rail system for Tampere has been under discussion since the 1970s. The first feasibility studies were conducted in 2001. In 2016, Tampere city council approved plans to construct the 330-million-euro system, with the aim of completing the first phase of the project in 2021.
Tampere City Council made the decision last November to continue the tramway to the Hatanpää motorway. This added an extra 700 metres to the proposed tracks.
On Monday 19 October the council will decide about whether to continue the second section of the tramway track to the suburb of Lentävänniemi.
The tramway alliance says it has the technical capabilities to start this second phase of construction if the council gives it the green light.
According to the alliance, the first section of track cost will be less than 26 million euros. The Hatanpää motorway tramway track work is at 46 percent and progressing on schedule.
Test runs of the first section have already started with an official opening for public commuters slated for 9 August 2021.