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Helsinki-Tallinn Tunnel Project

There have been further calls recently for a tunnel connection to be constructed between the Finish and Estonian capitals.

The tunnel, which would be 50km long at the nearest points between the two cities, would be the longest undersea tunnel in the world. The Channel Tunnel between the UK and France is 38km.

The channel is already serviced by multiple ferries running many times daily, where the trip takes a little under two hours.

The tunnel link would have a huge impact on the integration of Finland to the Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, providing a land link that does not require going through Russian territory or in the air.

At a recent business conference, Finish entrepreneur Joakim Helenius was bidding up the project stating that it would be hugely beneficial for the region.

Jüri Mõis, forner mayor of Tallinn, has made comparisons to the bridge linking Copenhagen to Malmö in Sweden, and the significant and swift impact it had on the local economy there.

The major stumbling block for the project will inevitably be funding. Cost estimates thus far have ranged from €1 billion for a freight tunnel only, to €9 billion for a full road and rail network through it.

It is clear that Tallinn has a lot more to gain from the project than Helsinki and these cost benefit issues will play a big role in whether the European Union are prepared to fund such a project.

For now, the European Union are been happy to distribute 85% of the required €100,000 for the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel project feasibility study, due to be released in 2015.

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