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Old December 12th, 2016, 09:36 PM   #781
MattiG
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Recycled Noise Barrier

There is an ongoing construction site to widen the Ring I of Helsinki between the roads 110 and 3/E12. A few kilometers of noise barriers were removed and rebuilt. Because of loose ground, a part of the new barrier was to made as lightweight as possible. The kernel of the structure was made of recycled materials: polystyrene slabs and thousands of abandoned tyres. Next, the heap was covered with soil and now it looks like just a normal noise wall.

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Old January 2nd, 2017, 11:12 PM   #782
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A new motorway section on 8/E8 was opened between Masku and Nousiainen in December. There is now a continuous motorway of 17 km from Turku to Nousiainen.

Unlike on most motorway projects, many portions of the motorway were made by simply widening the existing road and constructing a second roadway. This means that the old road practically ceased to exist. What this also means is that there isn't any seemingly logical simple route for non-motorway traffic, but a patchwork of former minor roads and local streets along with some ad hoc solutions to have those connect with each other.

The motorway itself, however, is mostly welcome, this section having been a major bottleneck on the important west coast highway – to the extent that a remarkable share of the traffic between Turku and Pori has diverted to minor roads further inland, namely 9-204-12-43-2 instead of 8. This doesn't necessarily end here, there are still many bottlenecks between Nousiainen and Pori. The remaining road is almost completely 1+1.
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 12:19 AM   #783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OulaL View Post
The motorway itself, however, is mostly welcome, this section having been a major bottleneck on the important west coast highway – to the extent that a remarkable share of the traffic between Turku and Pori has diverted to minor roads further inland, namely 9-204-12-43-2 instead of 8. This doesn't necessarily end here, there are still many bottlenecks between Nousiainen and Pori. The remaining road is almost completely 1+1.
The 120 km stretch from Nousiainen to Pori is one of the lousiest part of the primary road network.

The miminum AADT on the alternative route is 2600 compared to 6300 on the primary route. Thus, the "market share" could be max around 30%. I think that especially the lower winter maintenance class of the alternative route class attracts people to use the primary one.

For the long-haul traffic (Turku-Oulu, 650 km), the popular alternative is the route via Jyväskylä (routes 9/E63 and 4/E75). The distance is about the same, and there are more 24h services available on the inland route. This route avoids the 8/E8 totally. It has a lousy section Jämsä-Muurame, but that is 50 km only.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 12:20 AM   #784
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Speaking of Turku-Oulu, furthermore, 8 has a far greater population density than 9-4. Thus it goes through many built up areas and has tens of sections with a speed limit of 60 km/h or lower.

9-4 has... what? One roundabout in Jämsä, two traffic lights in Jyväskylä (the only two traffic lights en route), three roundabouts in Kärsämäki (the only built up area en route), one roundabout in Liminka (that being the endpoint of 8). That came by memory. But I don't even bother trying to count all those on 8.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 12:57 AM   #785
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Quote:
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Speaking of Turku-Oulu, furthermore, 8 has a far greater population density than 9-4. Thus it goes through many built up areas and has tens of sections with a speed limit of 60 km/h or lower.

9-4 has... what? One roundabout in Jämsä, two traffic lights in Jyväskylä (the only two traffic lights en route), three roundabouts in Kärsämäki (the only built up area en route), one roundabout in Liminka (that being the endpoint of 8). That came by memory. But I don't even bother trying to count all those on 8.
The speed limits at 8 mostly are at crossings, not at built-up areas. The road bypasses most towns and villages except at the northern leg between Kokkola and Raahe. After Sepänkylä got its bypass, the first village to enter after Pori is Koivulahti, after 200 km. Then Oravainen and nothing more before Kokkola. Then Himanka, Kalajoki and Pyhäjoki.

On 9/4, the route touches a number of smaller places like Aura, Karinainen and Loimaa, causing short speed limits. The legs Jämsä-Jyväskylä-Pihtipudas are quite congested and hilly, with an impact to the average speed. I try to avoid that stretch whenever possible, because the high share of heavy vehicles makes it somewhat uncomfortable. (Instead, between Helsinki and Oulu, I often select the route 3-9-66-19-63-86-8-4 even if it is some 70 kilometers longer.)
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:48 PM   #786
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Concrete Scandal

There is an ongoing research to solve a scandal around the quality of concrete in Finland.

Last summer, the railway bridge under construction in Kemijärvi, was found to not meet the needed level of compression strength. The bridge was demolished, and a replacement one was built.





A few months later, a similar case occurred in Turku, where a new hospital is under construction.

The Finnish Road Agency got concerned, and selected 18 new road bridges (age less than 5 years) to inspect. The results were scary: 6 of those 18 bridges did not meet the standards.



Basically, the reason is air: The air in small bubbles (~1 mm) increases the material durability in the arctic conditions. The desirable amount of air is about 5 percent. Every added 1 percent reduces the strength by 5 percent. The air content in the concrete of those 6 bridges was even more than 10 percent. This does not mean the bridges are in a danger to collapse, but their lifetime may be shortened.

The root cause is still not known. The air content is controlled by certain chemicals, and it is speculated that those ones have unknown side effects. The vendor of the concrete in the cases of Kemijärvi and Turku remains silent and does not comment the issue.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:57 PM   #787
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Interesting. I wonder if this is similar to the bridge problems in Germany, already in the 1980s engineers noticed that many 1960s-1970s bridges were deteriorating much faster than anticipated and would not reach their expected lifetime.

Though other factors may come in play as well, such as using concrete too conservatively, with rebar becoming exposed quickly and a lack or margin in bridge design. Although it's often blamed at 'much more truck traffic than expected at the time', many smaller bridges with fairly low truck volumes are also affected.

Germany also has other concrete problems, in particular with concrete rot / cancer if it is used as a pavement (concrete motorways) and also crack formation in concrete barriers.

The Netherlands has some trouble with concrete structures built for the high-speed railway, they have excessive moss growth with concrete peeling off.
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Old January 19th, 2017, 01:41 AM   #788
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As my studies in material technology were more in the steel etc. field, my guess is to look at how standards are set, who controls them etc.

To look for steel meeting given criteria happened only after some desasters in beginning of last century. With concrete also only amaterus would say that its just a simple mix.

In german bridge-builöding it is mandatory to make some probes of the concrete the same time it is used in the project. This probes could be investigated without biting a piece out of the finished bridge or even before going on in building. I don't know how and how strict this is done in other countries also.
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Old January 20th, 2017, 08:25 AM   #789
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belerophon View Post

In german bridge-builöding it is mandatory to make some probes of the concrete the same time it is used in the project. This probes could be investigated without biting a piece out of the finished bridge or even before going on in building. I don't know how and how strict this is done in other countries also.
In Poland they also collect samples for testing, including of tarmac when they do paving. I would guess that in Europe most countries use similar practices.
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Old January 20th, 2017, 12:37 PM   #790
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Quote:
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There is an ongoing research to solve a scandal around the quality of concrete in Finland.

Last summer, the railway bridge under construction in Kemijärvi, was found to not meet the needed level of compression strength. The bridge was demolished, and a replacement one was built.
Scandals about quality of concrete is a daily business here in Italy.
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Old January 20th, 2017, 02:36 PM   #791
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In Poland they also collect samples for testing, including of tarmac when they do paving. I would guess that in Europe most countries use similar practices.
The process of concrete hardening is quite complex. There are no 100% correct predictive methods to take samples of the concrete mass and to give a measure of the strength of the final structure.

In that railway bridge case, everything seemed ok until it was time to begin the post-tensioning. The anchors broke into the structure and cracks appeared on the surface close to the anchors.

The root cause is still unknown. It suspected that those chemicals controlling the hardening, air content, and viscosity have unknown side effects at certain conditions.
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Old January 20th, 2017, 02:42 PM   #792
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Scandals about quality of concrete is a daily business here in Italy.
The quality of building is low in general in Finland. However, concrete seldom is the one to blame.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 02:05 AM   #793
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Quote:
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In Poland they also collect samples for testing, including of tarmac when they do paving. I would guess that in Europe most countries use similar practices.
In Ontario, Canada they do this too
except the company that is paving provides the sample and analyzes it
Apparently they take a sample of high-quality asphalt for analysis and pave the road with cheap low-quality asphalt.
When police was asked about this from the government auditor, they said they needed a formal complaint from the roads ministry, who, when asked, didn't pursue the matter
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:04 PM   #794
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Route 8 should had been extended as a motorway to Mynämäki, by-passing Rauma/Eura and south of Pori. At first. The whole Turku-Pori section should be a motorway. In the 90's alone Finland built 550 Kms of motorway. The little money we are spending on infrastructure (even the widening of Ring III from Route 120 to Route 135 (Airport) was vanished (it was decided in 2014 that construction would start last year, but the new government completely destroyed even all the plans and information that were available on the internet).

Last edited by RV; February 1st, 2017 at 04:41 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2017, 05:14 PM   #795
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A 5 kilometer stretch of Vt. 7 / E18 from east of Hamina to Kattilainen opened to traffic today. It is part of the motorway extension to the Russian border.

http://www.liikennevirasto.fi/-/e18-...a#.WJ3YEH-KDz4
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Old February 13th, 2017, 12:47 PM   #796
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E18 has been built too far from Hamina. Also, the 1+1-road (which was till the new by-pass opened 2+2 partly) accessing Hamina from the West is unsufficient with ADT up to 20 000. I thought we learned from the 1980's that interchanges are not the ultimate solution if capacity is not sufficient... Anyways, at least some good. The 3+3-section from Leppävaara to Road 120 in Helsinki is also partly opened, and the new interchange on the same Ring I in Viikki has really made life more comfortable for those who come to the area from the East and had to drive first up to Malmi to access the area.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #797
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Road Act Renewal

The current Road Act in Finland dates back to 1981. Because the world has changed a lot, the legislation has been patched tens of times, and new laws have been introduced.

The Ministry of transport have prepared a renewal of this jungle for several years, and the proposal was published today. The length of the proposal is 453 pages. Therefore, it takes a while to read it and compile some comments.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 12:24 AM   #798
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Long Vehicles

Finland (like other Nordic countries) permits much larger vehicles than the EU regulations allow in the domestic traffic. This is about reducing the transportation cost. With some exceptions, the railway network is sparse.

The maximum weight is 76 tons and length is 25.25 meters. A number of transportation companies have applied a special permission to test HCT (High Capacity Transport) vehicles exceeding those limits. About 30 such permissions have granted. Most of the HCT vehicles run a fixed predefined route free from physical obstacles.


Length 32 m, max weight 68 tons


Length 32 m, max weight 88 tons


Length 33.8 m, max weight 85 tons


Length 30 m, max weight 92 tons


Length 34 m, max weight 100 tons
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Old March 5th, 2017, 10:29 AM   #799
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I assume they use more powerful tractors? I mean some of these combinations are over twice the weight of a standard 40 ton semi truck.

Sweden uses some very long trucks in the north as well. In the Netherlands, longer combination vehicles are allowed up to 25.25 m.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 01:41 PM   #800
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I assume they use more powerful tractors? I mean some of these combinations are over twice the weight of a standard 40 ton semi truck.
True. The current rule for standard vehicles is simple: The minimum power is 5 kW/ton for vehicles exceeding 44 tons. (A transition period applies until April 2018: For vehicles exceeding 60 tons, the minimum power is 300 kW + 2.625 kW/ton x (mass-60 ton).)
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