NECL II -report: main road 18 (Central Finland)

Main road 18 is an important nationwide road connecting the cities of Jyväskylä, Seinäjoki and Vaasa. This plan focuses on the parts of the main road between Ähtäri and Multia. The 28-kilometer-long section of the road will be redirected to a new location between Myllymäki and Multia. An improvement of the regional road 621 is also included in this plan. The length of the improved section of the road is 15 kilometers.

At its current state the main road 18 does not meet the fluency and quality requirements for a main road in Finland. The cross-section is too narrow and there are hills and bends along the road. Two turnings at two separate intersections impair the continuity of the main road. The turnings are located in Myllymäki and Väätiäiskylä. The most significant problem at the main road 18 is the unbuilt section between Ähtäri and Multia. The need to improve the section has been a regular topic since the 1980s.

The traffic-related goals for the project are to develop the international eastwest transport corridor, to enhance the competitiveness of the economy near the main road, to offer a better location for new companies, to improve the accessibility for tourism, between the regions and the municipalities Ähtäri,
Multia and Keuruu, to improve the fluency and traffic safety of commuting, to enhance the freight and its predictability and to promote public transport.
The goals for the environment and land use planning are to locate the road alignment where it does not impair the natural habitats of plants and animals and to make sure that the noise from the traffic does not impair the residential areas and vocational housing. The plan supports land use in the area and the road does not diminish the viability of the farms.
The economic goal is to make sure that the measures have good effectiveness and overcapacity is avoided. In addition, the goal is to construct the road economically and in stages.
The new road alignment was formed on the basis of previous plans and regional plans. A few alternatives for the road alignment were considered. In Multia various alignments were studied.

In summary, the largest impacts of the road project are the improvements in traffic flow, traffic safety and freight reliability. The amount of residents affected by traffic noise pollution decreases. The road project does not have an impact on carbon dioxide emission reduction.

Download reportPDF (mainly in Finnish, summary in English)
(act. 3.4., report by Ramboll Finland)

Appendix: drawings and maps PDF

More information:
Traffic Engineer Pekka Kokki
tel. +358 40 595 0006
e-mail: pekka.kokki(at)

Improving the Finnish main road 18 is part of the Nordic NECL II (Nord East Cargo Link II) development project. NECL II is financed by the Baltic Sea Region Programme. It is the second phase in the development of the east-west Midnordic Green Transport Corridor.

Uppdated: 2013-05-03
The planning area of main road 18.


NECL II has also produced a reserve route plan for main road 18:

Alternative route plan for National Road 18 between Ähtäri and JyväskyläPDF
(Intermediary report 3.4., summary in English)

Appendix: maps (reserve route)PDF

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