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Promoting the use of wood in the infrastructure of Finnish private roads

Climate plan for the land use sector -website
National Forest Strategy 2025 -website

Project implementers

 Finnish Forest Centre and the Finnish Road Association

Duration of the project



Description of the project

Increasing the use of wood in construction is one way of increasing carbon storage in Finland. At the same time, the growing use of wood can significantly replace the use of fossil-based and non-renewable materials, such as concrete or steel, with wooden materials. As a material, wood has many positive qualities.

Wood could be used to a greater extent in various route structures, such as bridges, noise barriers and level crossings. It has been estimated that there are approximately 13,000 bridges along forest roads or other private roads in Finland, and some of them require significant renewal and restoration.

Increasing the use of wood in the construction and repair of bridges is a good opportunity to promote climate-resilient and ecological construction in the transport infrastructure. It also creates new opportunities from the perspective of wood processing and the wood business. This will require information on the number and condition of bridges, new types of solutions, operating models and competence for the different stages of the bridge building process.

The project has:

  • produced information on the number and condition of bridges on private roads in three counties (bridge condition surveys);

  • promoted the creation of new bridge solutions and operating models to increase the use of wood in the construction and repair of bridges on private roads;

  • increased planning and construction competence related to wooden bridges in Finland

  • produced description of the implementation of the bridge project (process chart)

  • produced learning materials related to wooden bridge structures

  • organised a course on structural design for wooden bridges

  • organised an idea contest

  • Theses have also been prepared as part of the project.

The project has surveyed the current status of the existing bridge types and launched development measures to create new bridge solutions and operating models. A competition for ideas was organised as part of the project in summer 2021. In addition, the project has produced data on the number, condition and investment needs of private road bridges in three counties based on spatial data. The information can be used to explore business opportunities related to the bridge process, for example, and to determine funding needs.

The mapping of the condition of bridges will continue nationally in 2022–2024 in the new TIESIT project coordinated by the Finnish Forest Centre. The TIESIT project will map the condition and investment needs of roads and bridges forming part of the private road network, assess the extent and development needs of the energy wood terminal network, and produce information and operating models as tools for activating the management of private roads.

Contact information

Timo Pisto,

Related projects:

 Communication projects on carbon storage of wood products
Promoting the use of wood in farm construction in Finland

Related topics:

Wood Building Programme - Ministry of the Environment
Promotion of wood construction and wood products in Finland

The project was implemented as part of the package of climate measures in the LULUCF sector (Catch the Carbon projects). According to the Government Programme, the aim is to increase the use of wood in wood products with high added value and long-term carbon stocks as well as to promote research and product development. The project also implements the Wood Building Programme for the Transport Infrastructure, published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 2018. The aim of the programme is to increase the share of wood in state-built bridges to 10 per cent by 2022 and to increase the use of wood in other infrastructure construction as well. The project also implements the objectives of the Wood Building Programme, the Bioeconomy Strategy, the Climate and Energy Strategy and the national Forest Strategy.