The Finnish Defense Forces wants to build a bridge between Vasa and Umeå

Sweden and Finland’s membership in NATO raises the issue of a bridge between Umeå and Finnish Vaasa. Finland has allocated money for a preliminary study – but the Swedish military is more wait-and-see.

– We must not forget that, logistically speaking, Finland is more or less an island, says Mikko heiskanen, head of logistics and materiel within the Finnish Defense Forces.

A large part of the transport from Finland to Sweden goes via Torneå and Haparanda, or across the Baltic Sea. Logistics and material manager Mikko Heiskanen believes that another fixed connection between Sweden and Finland would be an advantage.

– We must not forget that, logistically speaking, Finland is more or less an island, says Mikko Heiskanen.

Would be eight miles long

There are sketches produced by external experts. The bridge with possible tunnels and road banks would be approximately eight kilometers long – to be compared with the Öresund Bridge, which is a total of 1.6 kilometers long.

Recently, the Finnish Traffic Control Agency decided to set aside SEK 2.2 million for a feasibility study. The cost of the entire project could end up at around 50 billion.

– It would be easier if we customers planned this together. Above all to ensure maintenance, primarily for reinforcements, but also to be able to maintain reinforcements that have arrived in Finland in war.

Not as keen in Sweden

The dream of a bridge has existed on the Swedish and Finnish sides for 50 years, perhaps because of the world situation it has now come a little closer. But at Total Defense’s protection center in Umeå, people are not as anxious as in Finland.

– It is more important to have a bridge for Finland, but NATO membership might change that. A bridge can also be a target if there is a war, but then we can jointly protect it from both sides, says Thomas Lamke, garrison commander at Total Defense’s protection centre.

When asked if Mikko Heiskanen thinks there will be a bridge, he answers:

– That is a good question, perhaps not in the foreseeable future, the funding must also be there, he says.