Improvement of Highway 4 around Oulu

About the client and project

The goal is to improve traffic safety and flow on Highway 4 between Kempele and Kello as well as to reduce congestion around Oulu. The reliability of trade and industry transports is another important area of development.

Welado will provide assistance for construction management and supervision in three projects:

The construction of a new interchange, the Zatelliitti interchange on Highway 4 near Kempele

The improvement of Highway 4 around Oulu (between Kaakkuri and Pateniemi), including the construction of a third motorway lane in both directions between highways 22 and 20 (the most significant change in the project)

The construction of telematics for Highway 4 around Oulu and for Highway 20 in the direction of Kiiminki.

Cost estimate: ca. €71 million

The project’s client is the Finnish Transport Agency, with Jukka Päkkilä as the project manager. In addition, Terhi Honkarinta of the Finnish Transport Agency serves as project engineer for the project.

The project includes the construction of one new interchange (Zatelliitti, contract 1), the improvement of seven existing interchanges (Kaakkuri, Lintula, Oulu, Kontinkangas, Laanila, Linnanmaa, Pateniemi), the construction of new bridges, underpasses and noise barriers, as well as the improvement of lighting (contract 2). In addition, a new telematics system will be constructed for Highway 4 around Oulu and on a short stretch along Highway 20 in the direction of Kuusamo (contract 3). Contract 2 includes design and implementation subcontracts for bridges, pile slabs and noise barriers. The rest of the contract as well as contracts 1 and 3 are all-in contracts. 

The project was launched in May 2017 and it will be completed by the end of 2019, with the exception of telematics, the construction of which will continue at least until 2020.

Challenges and problems involved

The section between Highways 22 and 20, which involves the construction of a third motorway lane in both directions, with the Oulujoki river running in between, will pose challenges to construction and traffic flow. Owing to the lane arrangements, the old bridge can no longer accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic, which will be transferred to a new bridge built across the Oulujoki river. 

Welado’s solutions

Welado’s assignment is to serve as a construction management consultant for the project. Among other things the company will be in charge of procurement, construction and supervision. It will also serve as the project’s safety coordinator. Welado’s professional project organization will ensure the achievement of the project’s goals through the stringent supervision of schedules and costs as well as through competent and participatory professional site supervision, which takes advantage of modern quality control tools at all stages; safety will be emphasized throughout the project.


Construction of the Zatelliitti interchange has begun, and preparations for contract 2 will begin soon after Midsummer. Competitive tendering for the telematics contract will be launched at the end of the summer and construction will begin in late 2017 or spring 2018. Much remains to be done, and plenty of challenges will be faced. Follow our joint journey to evaluate our success.

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