The objective of KymiRing is to serve as a versatile venue where the majority of the road safety and motor sport activities in Southern Finland could be concentrated. If implemented, the KymiRing will have a 4.4-kilometre motor racing circuit, which can be used for practice and competition in all circuit motor sports. In addition to the motor track, a road safety facility will be built at KymiRing to provide an environment where operators of combination trucks can practice how to deal with situations of hydroplaning, for example.
A first in Finland
Sito has been involved in many aspects of planning for KymiRing. The latest long-term project was an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure, a first for a motor sports centre in Finland. During the EIA process, the effects of KymiRing’s activities on the soil and groundwater, as well as its noise impact, emerged as the key environmental impact factors. In addition, special emphasis was put in the EIA process to take into account the views of the local residents, for example by arranging a separate workshop with them, run by a sociologist from Sito.
The impact of the project on the soil and groundwater was investigated by experts from Sito representing various different fields. As a result, KymiRing was provided with a comprehensive survey of the soil and groundwater in the surrounding area, including a plan for the installation of groundwater pipes. In addition, an extensive stormwater management survey was carried out. The results of both surveys were utilised in the EIA process, and the information therein provides important background support for the further planning of the project.
Noise impact of motor sports is under discussion
In the course of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, the hottest and most debated issue turned out to be the noise impact of motor sports activities. Motor sport noise differs from normal road traffic noise, which is typically a steady hum generated by tyre noise. The noise caused by motor sports is usually fluctuating, as the engines of the vehicles are loaded in varying degrees in different driving situations. It is assumed that the fluctuation of motor sports noise is one factor which may cause it to be perceived as a disturbance. The noise impact has been studied using noise calculations, the results of which have been contrasted with the views of the residents. The key issue from the overall perspective is that the activities of KymiRing will create a new source of disturbing noise in the area, changing the present soundscape. It should be noted, however, that the motor sport activities will not be continuous, and the nearest residential locations exposed to noise are relatively far from the motor track, at a distance of approximately one kilometre. In addition, attention will be paid to noise control via measures such as noise measurements, monitoring of the vehicles and noise reduction solutions.