Tallinn tunnel developers unveil new floating island plans

Although there's been no official approval for the Tallinn Tunnel project, developers are moving ahead with partnerships to build a new island off the coast of Estonia.

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Artist's impression of Tallinn floating island / Credit: Finest Bay Area Development

The developers behind plans to build a high speed rail link under the Baltic Sea, connecting Helsinki Airport with Tallinn Airport, have unveiled the latest plans for the project.

The FinEst Bay Area Company is partnering with Japanese and Dutch firms to design and build a floating island off the coast of Estonia.

It’s the first of two new islands envisaged for the tunnel connection, which would be built using rubble from excavations. The islands also serve as safety exits and ventilation points for the tunnel – which doesn’t yet have a green light from either the Finnish or Estonian governments, and is the subject of a dispute in Finland over where it will make landfall.

Developers say building floating islands is relatively quick work, environmentally friendly and adapts to sea level changes.

The also say that for Tallinn, the green island will boost the attractiveness of the area.

“It is a great way to stand out from the crowd in the international competition to attract businesses, investments and highly qualified skilled people” says Peter Vesterbacka, from Finest Bay Area Development.

The planned island will be 1.2km by 2.5km big, and circular, with three breakwaters to reduce the impact of waves and winter ice. It is planned to be a place for homes, businesses, nature recreation and leisure.

Estimates from the developers say the island will not generate any waste, with resources to be either reused, recycled or upcycled; and goals to reach food self-sufficiency.

Although there won’t be a high speed train station on the island, the tunnel’s bike lane will connect it to the mainland. Otherwise boat is the main mode of transport to the planned floating island.

According to the developers there’s no cost estimate for this project, and construction will only begin when the Tallinn tunnel construction starts.

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