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Repairing the Bridge in Ruoholahti at Helsinki City Centre

Repairing bridges in the Helsinki city centre demands expertise from several technological fields and a comprehensive cooperation between interest groups to cover all aspects of traffic arrangement and city landscape.

The bridge at Ruoholahti has been inspected a few times during the 21st century. The inspections were a basis for maintenance planning. Previous inspections gave an unclear picture of the condition of the outer concrete structures of the bridge. Due to this, new inspections were ordered for that bridge structure. Based on the new inspections, the outer concrete structures were replaced entirely.

Moisture insulation for the car lanes was repaired earlier, so only the bicycling and pedestrian lane surfaces and the underside structures of the bridge were repaired. Because of the location and size of the bridge and the amount of traffic on it, the repair project was extensive.

Maintenance planning for the bridge and other similar targets in cities require considerable cooperation between interest groups. Any operations concerning tram traffic has to be discussed with Helsinki City Transport. Operations to public transport have to be discussed with Helsinki Region Transport. In this case, the repair work was made easier by stopping all tram traffic under the bridge in the middle of summer. This allowed for the most critical repair work to be done.

Traffic arrangements during repair work were planned during the drafting process with City Planning Department and Public Works Department experts. The preliminary traffic arrangements function as a basis for the contractors so that they can plan the actual traffic arrangements.

The bridge at Ruoholahti was repaired in 2013. During the repair work it was discovered that the concrete structures were in an even worse state than expected. So the replacement of the outer concrete structures was necessary.

Despite the poor condition of the structures and the amount of traffic on the bridge, the work was carried out in a reasonable time frame. Problems during the repair work were solved by the constructor, developer, and designer together.