Jokeri Light Rail project proceeds to cities decision-making

A new cost estimate has been completed for the Jokeri Light Rail (Raide-Jokeri) development project. An updated project plan and the related cost estimate will proceed to an approval process in the city governments of Helsinki and Espoo during the spring of 2019. If both cities approve the new cost estimate, construction can go underway in June 2019. If construction can be started in June 2019, the light-rail line can go into service in June 2024.

The final cost of the Jokeri Light Rail line is estimated to be 386 million euros, calculated with December 2018 price levels. The share of Helsinki of the total cost is 268 million and that of Espoo 118 million euros of the total estimated cost. Calculated with the price levels of 2015, when the previous project decision was made, the cost estimate totals 368 million euros. That is, the cost estimate has increased by 93 million euros, calculated with April 2015 price levels, from the cost estimate that formed the basis of the previous decision on the project.

“The cost estimate is based on plans and calculations finalized in the alliance development phase. An alliance, as the project implementation model, produces a maximally accurate and a well-grounded cost calculation: if the project remains below the cost estimate, service providers earn a bonus, and if the project exceeds the cost estimate, service providers will be responsible for the overruns as relate to their share of project implementation. The alliance project implementation model always produces cost transparency, and invoicing is based on real costs,” says Juha Saarikoski, the project manager for the clients of the Jokeri Light Rail project.

The City Councils of Helsinki and Espoo approved a cost estimate for the Jokeri Light Rail project plan in June 2016. This cost estimate was 275 million euros according to April 2015 price levels. Because the new cost estimate is higher than the first cost estimate, the project costs will again proceed to decision-making by the cities. The decision-making process will start in Helsinki, where the Executive Board of Helsinki City Transport (HKL) considers the matter on 25 January 2019. In Espoo, the process will start with an Espoo City Board consideration on 28 January 2019. Thereafter decision-making will proceed to the City Councils of both cities. The goal is to start Jokeri Light Rail construction in June 2019. If construction can be started in June 2019, service can be launched on the light-rail line in June 2024.

The implementation of the Jokeri Light Rail line includes the construction of a depot and the procurement of the light-rail fleet, as well as the development of light-rail infrastructure. In addition, the cities would commission such projects from the Jokeri Light Rail alliance that should ideally be implemented in conjunction with the light-rail line construction. In addition to the light-rail infrastructure, the alliance would develop the depot in Helsinki’s Roihupelto; the cities will make separate decisions on the depot in the course of the spring of 2019. The cost estimate for the depot, produced by the alliance, is 69.5 million euros calculated with November 2018 price levels.

The clients in the Jokeri Light Rail alliance are the Cities of Helsinki and Espoo. The service providers are YIT Suomi Oy and NRC Group Finland Oy (formerly VR Track Oy) as well as the design and engineering organizations Sitowise Oy, Ramboll Finland Oy and NRC Group Finland Oy.