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Developing new methods to cross wide and deep Norwegian fjords

By Lidvard Skorpa


AbstractThe Norwegian coastline is rugged with long fjords, and exposed to wind and waves from the North Sea. The fjords represent barriers to crossing traffic, and thus also to industrial growth in the coastal regions. Because of the many ferry connections in coastal regions, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has always been searching for new ways to cross the fjords by fixed connections. During the last years limits have been stretched with regard to the use of slender suspension bridges as well as long and deep sub sea rock tunnels. However, there are still many ferry connections left. These are the most extreme fjord crossings, where existing bridge building technology has to be developed further, and in addition, new knowledge and experience from offshore technology turns out to be of great importance.To develop new alternative fjord crossing methods, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Western Region, has organized a conceptual feasibility study of how to cross the wide and extremely deep Sognefjord. The experience from this study will be of great value to other fjord crossing projects as well. In addition, the study may be of interest to projects in scenic inland lake areas and urban waterfront areas. The feasibility study focuses on crossing alternatives based on the use of water as a bearing element of the bridge structures. It includes different crossing methods such as suspension bridges, floating bridges, submerged floating tunnels (SFT), and combinations of these.The results from these studies, with focus on the use of submerged floating tunnels, as seen from the owners point of view are discussed in the paper. The use of new technology raises questions with regard to safety of the structures as well as to the traffic. The study also gives important knowledge about where the different alternative crossing methods can meet local conditions on different crossing sites with regard to width and depth of the fjord, exposure to wind, sea waves, and ships traffic

Publisher: Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.proeng.2010.08.010
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