Drilling and Survey Ships Assist Engineering of 1,100-Kilometer Coastal Highway

Engineering projects along a coastal highway route that crosses fjord locations in Norway will require a variety of solutions that may include above and below sea level tunnels, an end-anchored floating bridge, a submerged floating tube bridge and a multi-span suspension bridge. To inform the foundation designs of the bridges and tunnels, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration contracted with geotechnical survey company Fugro to perform seabed investigations and gather geophysical and geotechnical data.

The project includes use of two vessels to perform geophysical mapping of the fjord-crossing areas including multi-channel sparker data in nearshore areas and geophysical data in deeper fjord areas using an ROV, plus seabed sampling and cone penetration testing.

Using this data, Fugro will also perform geotechnical drilling at selected locations using its high-tech drillship Fugro Synergy. The fjords involved include Vartdalsfjorden, Sulafjorden, Romsdalsfjorden and Halsafjorden located in the county of Møre og Romsdal.

The E39 coastal highway project is the largest road project in Norway’s history, involving a 1,100-kilometer-stretch from Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim in central Norway and is estimated to require investment of approximately NOK 340 billion. Fugro is also involved in a 12-year environmental measurement relating to the building of the route with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

The new E39 coastal highway will function without the seven ferries currently used along the route, will be 50 kilometers shorter, and it is expected to cut the current 21 hours of travel time on the route in half.

Image Caption: E39 orthomap courtesy of Norwegian Public Roads Administration

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