Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 208

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I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
P R O F I L E
S O C I E T A L C H A L L E N G E S : T R A N S P O R T
IN
June last year, the Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget,
agreed with the government’s ambition for the
1,100km-long coastal Route E39 from Kristiansand
in the south to Trondheim in central Norway. An investment of
€20bn over 20 years is intended to upgrade the corridor to a
ferry-free and modern standard. Today, there are eight ferry links
along the corridor with crossing times varying between ten and 45
minutes. Four to five of the crossings will require longer spanning
structures than the world has seen so far.
The feasibility study for Coastal Highway Route E39 was
commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and
Communications. The study started in 2011, and contained four
components: fjord crossings, society, energy, and implementation
and contracting. The project is administered by the Norwegian
Public Roads Administration (NPRA).
About 50% of Norway’s traditional export value, excluding oil,
gas, ships, and offshore installations like platforms, comes from
the six counties along the route. Due to low road standards and
many ferries, the typical travel time along the E39 is about 20
hours. The project will reduce travel time by some 40%. An
upgraded and ferry-free E39 will be a game-changer for
southern Norway and the west coast, and high attention has
been given to developing methods that can assist in predicting
long term impacts for society at large and for trade and industry.
There are strong indications that the new E39 will significantly
increase productivity and sales values for trade and industry,
and by much more than the traditional transport economic
savings usually expected. This is particularly due to
enlargements of residential and labour markets when ferries are
being replaced with fixed links and roads in-between are being
upgraded. Further studies are being undertaken, trying to
substantiate likely macro-economic impacts on Gross Domestic
Product (GDP), regional and national export values, etc.
The Sognefjord, which is about 3.7km wide and 1,300m deep at
the existing E39 ferry crossing, has been used as a pilot site for
new concepts for extreme bridges. It is considered the most
difficult and challenging fjord to cross.While the depth of the
Sognefjord is extreme, the other fjords along the route are more
typically some 500-600m deep.
The conclusion is that crossing the Sognefjord is feasible using
any of three concepts: single-span suspension bridge, floating
bridge or submerged floating tunnel. All concepts studied satisfy
width, depth and height sailing clearances of 400 metres, 20
metres and 70 metres, respectively, which are currently the overall
design requirements in this area. The concepts are designed to
Extreme structures and integrated energy approaches make the
Norwegian Coastal Highway Route E39 the most challenging highway
project ever in Norway
Creating crossings
Fig. 1 Suspension bridge with main span of 3,700m (Ill: Norwegian
Public Roads Administration)
Fig. 2 Floating multispan suspension bridge (Ill: Aas-Jakobsen/Johs
Holt/Cowi/NGI/Skanska Group)
Fig. 3 Submerged floating tunnel held by pontoons (Ill: Reinertsen Olav
Olsen & Others Group)
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