Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 22

Metro Magic Dig no more. The tunnelling effort of the western metro line is done and stations are under way. Next stop: the grand opening of the metro at the end of 2015! Niittykumpu metro centre. All and all, the western expansion will introduce eight stations, Koivusaari and Lauttasaari in Helsinki, and once the metro crosses over to Espoo, there are six stations like pearls on a string: Keilaniemi, Aalto University, Tapiola, Urheilupuisto, Niittykumpu and Matinkylä. M atti Kokkinen, CEO of Länsimetro Oy, reports that excavations are now 99% complete – and final stretch will be covered in January 2014. In the construction projects at the coming metro stations, retaining wall elements have been in- 20 Nordicum stalled over a stretch of seven kilometres by this time. Construction is proceeding in parallel in the metro tunnels and at four stations, and soon all stations will be under construction. “The Aalto University station is coming along very nicely and the Keilaniemi station is not that far behind”, says Kokkinen. Tapiola and Matinkylä are following suite and the stations at Urheilupuisto and Niittykumpu are still waiting in the wings, waiting for a bidding contest. Niittykumpu is a special enough case, since it was only a tentative addition to the lineup – until the final green light for the station was received at the end of October 2013. “From the start, we had been preparing to feature Niittykumpu along the line and are glad that it’s official now,” Kokkinen says. As Big As They Come The metro project has been a long time coming and quite some time in the works, too – but it’s very satisfying to see the fruit of all that hard labour finally taking shape. After all, this is the single biggest infrastructure project in Finland right now – and not likely to be eclipsed very soon, says Olavi Louko, Deputy Mayor for the City of Espoo. “Projects of this magnitude and impact don’t surface very often. We’ve taken