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Highway 8

The city is advocating for the development of the safety and functionality of highway 8. Highway 8 is the main road and transport route on the west coast of Finland, and part of the TEN-T network. In Kokkola, most of the road transports to the port in Ykspihlaja are made along highway 8. There is a lot of heavy traffic on the highway, and in Kokkola there is also a significant amount of local traffic plus four at-grade junctions with traffic lights. The traffic volume on the highway has increased by approximately 10 per cent in the past ten years.

Kokkola’s goals are turning the highway into a four-lane road on the busy northern side with access to the city, increasing the capacity of the roundabouts, and improving the lane arrangements. Moreover, the city strives to improve the traffic capacity and safety of the intersection area of highways 8 and 28 and of the connections to and from Peltokorventie road. The road planning process is ongoing, and the total cost estimate for the project is approximately 15 million euros.

KlaRa

KlaRa – Kokkola’s rail traffic and the city centre area development project is an entity combining several individual projects. It brings significant benefits especially to the business sector associated with the Kokkola Industrial Park, simplifies the traffic and the functionality of the travel chains, and promotes the positive development of Kokkola’s urban structure.

The key project in the development of the railway station area in Kokkola is the construction of the Rautatientori marketplace. The plans for the area include a versatile housing, business and event centre, with a floor area of 32,000 m². The pedestrian road area will be extended to parts of the Rautatientori marketplace. The bus platforms will be placed in the immediate vicinity of the station building. Passenger services will be improved by building waiting and bicycle shelters and by making the parking and traffic control system more efficient. At the same time, the tunnel under the rail tracks to the island platform and onward to the southern side of the railyard connects the Kosila area more closely to the city centre. Moreover, the park&ride car parks will be focused on the Kosila side.

There is a crucial need for the actions included in the KlaRa project. The Port of Kokkola, located in the Kokkola Industrial Park, is the third largest general port in Finland, which handles approximately 400 freight wagons every day. After the fairway dredging, the traffic to and from the harbour will increase further, but there is only one track for rail traffic.

Cargo traffic passes through the Kokkola railway station, which also provides passenger traffic services to approximately 200 000 inhabitants. Faster connections will increase the attractiveness of rail travel, but the structure of the Kokkola railway station is far behind the requirements of modern times.

The key investment is the double track that will be constructed from the Kokkola railway station to the port and the Industrial Park. As a result, the second track of the main line can be fully utilised. Moreover, security in the heavily trafficked urban area will improve significantly as a result of over and undercutting solutions related to the track investment.

The double track leading from the city centre to the port will enable the development of the railway station and its surroundings. Passenger and cargo traffic will be provided with their own tracks, roofed shelters will be built for commuters, and an access point facilitating travel by car, bus and train will be created.

The tunnel under the rail tracks will concentrate the urban structure by connecting the southern and northern sides of the city to each other. At the same time, it will accelerate the planned residential construction in the south. Furthermore, the new layout of the four-laned highway 8 is planned for the Kosila area.

The cost of the overall project has been estimated at 50 million euros. The sizeable project is implemented by the City of Kokkola and the Finnish government.

Sports and event park

The City of Kokkola is building the extensive sports and event park in the city centre in accordance with the general plan adopted in 2018. The project is realised by a company established by the city in 2020, which will initiate the operations, build a hybrid arena and an indoor training rink in the area, and develop the sports and event area as a whole.

The hybrid arena will include, for example, versatile indoor sports facilities, which will also serve as venues for trade fairs and concerts, and a football stadium.

The first part of the entity to be completed in the spring of 2021 is the event park, which will be situated between the Sunti channel and Pohjoisväylä road, opposite the Brita Maria park. The event park will offer a venue for festivals, outdoor concerts and other major events, and it will form a comprehensive entity with the sports park built at a later stage.