Norway is to embark on the largest infrastructure project in the nation’s history building a 1,100 coastal road the length of the country.
The E39 runs between, Kristiansand in the far south of the country and Trondheim in the north. The route navigates its way across the fjord network and features no fewer than seven ferry crossings.The new coastal highway project aims to eliminate the need for ferry services altogether by building a series of bridges and tunnels across, through and under the landscape. With many of the fjords along the route being too wide or too deep for conventional infrastructure to cross, innovative new solutions are being investigated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
With safety and environmental considerations being of the utmost importance, Norway’s vast coastal highway project is set to become a new benchmark in engineering capabilities and a model for future infrastructure projects around the world.
It will include Rogfast, which will be the longest undersea road tunnel in the world.This structure will reach depths of up to 390 metres below sea level, making it the deepest as well as the longest undersea road tunnel in the world. With work begun in 2018, this element of the project is set to be completed by 2026 at a cost of USD $2BN.
A floating bridge has been proposed to cross the Bjornafjord, a challenging stretch of water.
For the Sulafjord crossing a three tower suspension bridge is planned, with two of the bridges’ towers anchored on land and the third central tower anchored to the seafloor, some 400 metres below the water line.
Crossing the Romsdalsfjord will require a 16 kilometre undersea tunnel, much like the Rogfast project, from Alesund to Midsund – followed by a 2 kilometre suspension bridge connecting onto Molde.
By far the most complex and ambitious of all of the coastal highway crossings is that at Sognefjord – also known as the “King of the Fjords”. Norway’s largest and deepest fjord is over 3.7 kilometres wide and an incredible 1.3 kilometres deep at its lowest point.