Anders Jungar from PBI Research Institute, joined the Wasa Future Festival event remotely and shared thoughts on the Fixed Link project from PBI’s perspective. The Fixed Link project investigates the potential for a bridge over the Kvarken. Jungar described that the Kvarken Council has received three different proposals on how the fixed link over Kvarken could look like and that PBI’s role in this has been to assess these proposals.
Jungar also presented some proposed next steps regarding the fixed link, that consisted of engaging the region to make the fixed link a priority for the region, to define the need, benefits, alternative solutions, initial risks, and financial model for the link, and to create communications material and a webpage to promote and boost awareness of the project.
– It’s clear that we need to investigate a fixed link in more detail. We need to carry out a proper pre-feasibility study to define what is the actual need and the problem we are trying to solve. The transportation need is one thing but what about the geopolitical situation and the needs that creates, Jungar pointed out.
Axel Andersson from Ramboll presented their environmental analysis, which has consisted of identifying the environmental values in the Kvarken area, analysing these values, and putting forward how these values might pose challenges for a fixed link. As well as how to adapt and adjust the project according to these environmental challenges.
Andersson described that they found quite a lot of environmental values both on the Finnish and the Swedish side. Most of the environmental values are located where the shortest route between the Finnish and the Swedish side is.
– We haven’t found anything that could suggest that a fixed link is impossible to accomplish, but there’s still quite high environmental values to take into consideration, Andersson described.
The Fixed Link project will end in October. Ramboll’s and PBI´s recommendations for future measures will be used when continuing the work for a fixed link in the future.
More dialogue is needed
– There’s still much that needs to be done but now we have a road map on how to proceed forward. I think that this environmental question is of a high relevance and as Axel Andersson pointed out, it’s good that we’re already looking into this question. If we look at the public discussion about the fixed link, many people have lifted the question about environmental effects and blamed us for not taking this into consideration. Now we show that we take this into consideration. It would be very beneficial to have dialogue from the beginning with both those who oppose and those who are in favour of a fixed link, Mathias Lindström, the director of the Kvarken Council, pointed out.
– The Kvarken bridge must be completed in year 2035 or 2040. When we talk about the Kvarken bridge, we need to talk about the value of the soft industry around it, which it creates. Forget those who are talking about the price, we need those who are talking about the value, Sture Udd, the man behind Wasa Future Festival, said.
You can watch the livestream of the event on Youtube HERE.
About Fixed Link
Potential for a bridge over the Kvarken – A comprehensive impact assessment and an analysis of business proposals along with recommendations for continued work.