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Valuable road network locations: Heritage roads and bridges

Old traffic routes are part of Finland’s past and present. Winding medieval roads, as well as those built in the 1700s to connect coastal and inland regions, remain as the foundation of our transport environment. Vaulted stone bridges, the nation builders’ wooden bridges and the concrete bridges of our modern industrial society tell of how our technical expertise has developed.

The separately designated heritage roads and bridges within the road network together form a set of historical sites. These currently designated historical sites represent reasonably well the development of the road network and bridges from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. Most of these heritage roads and bridges were selected in the 1980s, at which point their selection was based on their national cultural historical value, their significance for the development of road and bridge technology, and their importance for the local landscape and tourism.

The heritage roads and bridges within the road network are maintained efficiently using a full life-cycle model that preserves cultural-historical values. In order for the maintenance of the historical sites to be systematic and long-term, the objective is for each heritage road and bridge to have its own maintenance plan. These plans have already been prepared for more than 20 heritage sites. The reference point for this maintenance work is the time when the road or bridge was designated as a heritage site. Within the road network that is currently in use, it is permitted to make any necessary changes to heritage roads and bridges that are required for transport use or traffic safety.

Explore the ‘Finnish journey through time’ story map