Coastal Highway Route E39 – extreme crossings

       Coastal Highway Route E39 goes all the way from outside Trondheim in the middle of Norway following the west-coast down to Kristiansand. To be totally correct the E39 continues after a ferry from Kristiansand in Norway to Hirtshals in Denmark to the city of Aahlborg in Denmark. The total length of E39 along the coast of Norway is 1100 km. Today you can drive this route in approximately 21 hours, including 7 Ferry crossings. The goal of the project “Coastal highway route E39” (also known as the “Ferry Free E39”) is to make it possible to drive the distance in 13 hours and have fixed links instead of the seven ferries.
       The seven fjords has a width of 1.6 to 5 km, and depth of 400–1300 m, which means that the fixed links will be bridges longer and deeper than ever before.
     By using technology from Norwegian off-shore industry, especially the floating concrete oil platforms, we see that it is possible to anchor a floating construction on depths up to 1500 meter below sea level (mbs). We also know that we can have floating constructions; both bridges and submerged floating bridges (tunnels) are possible.
       Norway already has the longest road tunnel in rock (Laerdal tunnel 24.5 km), the longest subsea tunnel (Bomlafjord 7.8 km, Ryfast 14 km under construction 2014–17, Rogfast 27 km under construction 2016-) and the deepest subsea tunnel (Eiksundtunnelen 7.77 km long, 287 mbs). The public road network in Norway consist of 92,000 km roads, 17,000 bridges in operation and 1100 road tunnels, 35 of which is subsea tunnels. Norway also has 600 harbours and 51 airports (2014).
       From Norwegian industry, and overseas, we have had suggestions on how to solve the crossings. Three main concepts have been taken a step further; The Floating Bridge, The submerged floating tunnel and The TLP anchoring system (Tension-leg platform).
      We are now working on developing the concepts, which can be used separately or in combination in the crossings. The technology is now taken to a step where we shortly are able to start tendering (“Competitive dialogue” is the most likely tender). Also in the “Coastal Highway Route E39” we have been looking at Tendering options, Energy production and consumption of the constructions and the overall economy in the project (both normal financial calculations, but also “game changer”-effects of bigger markets). 31 PhD graduates are connected to the project. At the same time the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) have ongoing research projects on materials, extreme weather, environment, energy, traffic safety, ITS and road technology in general.
      The presentation will focus on the newest developments in the extreme crossings, but also mention ongoing supplementary projects/PhD-studies at the time.

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