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Metrostav sends team back to Norway to complete a bridge on the Salmon Road

15. 4. 2020
Press release

Prague-Ruzyně, 15 April 2020

A group of twenty Metrostav construction workers, who voluntarily accepted the difficult task of returning to Norway to complete a major contract for the investor Trondelag fylkeskommune, must have felt a bit like a government delegation. The special team boarded a private plane to Trondheim at Terminal 3 of Václav Havel Airport in Prague. The company had to leave the construction site near the Åstfjord in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The leading Czech construction company is building two road tunnels and a bridge over the fjord as part of the Fv. 714 Lakseveien project.

The extraordinary trip included an additional good deed thanks to operative negotiations with authorities. Metrostav offered vacant seats on the plane to the Czech Embassy in Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in the Czech Republic. The Metrostav team was thus joined by Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Knot and four repatriated Norwegian students on the flight. All of them would have found it very difficult to get to Norway in the current situation.

I’m very grateful for Metrostav's helping hand in these difficult times. Metrostav's kind gesture reflects the relationship between Norway and the Czech Republic – we’re partners and allies who can rely on each other whenever necessary,” Norwegian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Robert Kvile commented Metrostav's action.

“I greatly appreciate not only Metrostav’s professionalism, which despite the dire current global situation, is determined to meet its obligations to its Norwegian client, but also its social responsibility. Metrostav unselfishly offered vacant seats on the charter flight transporting its team to work in Trondheim in order to repatriate several Norwegian students from the Czech Republic back to their homeland,” said Jaroslav Knot, Czech Ambassador to Norway

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Norwegian investor implemented a special regime on all construction sites, which allows construction to continue under strict rules and measures. We only need to complete work on the bridge in Norway, and so, we decided to return. The team consists of twenty volunteers, for whom Nordic construction projects are a matter of the heart and whose family circumstances make it possible to travel on a three-month trip abroad. Most of them have already worked on several projects in Scandinavia,” said Aleš Gothard, Metrostav's Regional Director for Scandinavia and Iceland.

On arrival in Trondheim, the team will first have to be quarantined, the duration of which will be the subject of discussion with Norwegian authorities. They will then move onto a separate construction site so that they don’t come into contact with other workers. This should be easy because, while Metrostav is only completing the bridge, its partner in the Bertelsen & Garpestad consortium will be mainly working in the tunnels.

 “Unlike a normal situation, there will be less of us onsite, but we should still be able to complete construction according to the original schedule. Just before leaving the construction site, we managed to pour the concrete for the bridge deck and we were thus ahead of schedule. Concreting the cornice and other finishing work will take us about three months. The new section of road should be open this autumn,” said Metrostav Project Manager Robert Broz and added: “Given the technical complexity of the project, we knew we were facing something we hadn’t experienced before. But none of us could have imagined it was going to be this adventurous.”

The Fv. 714 is an important transport link between Trondheim and the island of Hitra, from which more than one third of all Norwegian salmon is exported. That’s why it’s called the Salmon Road. Trucks transporting fish have hitherto travelled along the winding road around the fjords. Thanks to the new, almost six-kilometre section, transport will be significantly more comfortable, safer and faster. As part of the project, Metrostav also built the Slørdal (2650 m) and Mjønes (770 m) tunnels. However, the most ambitious part of the project was the 735 m long bridge over the Åstfjord, which included a unique foundation using reinforced concrete piles with a diameter of 18.4 m, and weight of 2200 t directly on the seabed.

Metrostav has been at home in Scandinavia for over 10 years. Czech and Slovak construction workers have built dozens of kilometres of road, rail and technological tunnels in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Contracts in the north of Europe are currently even more important for Metrostav as they account for about one third of total annual revenues in excess of CZK 20 billion.


Vojtěch Kostiha
Spokesperson of the Metrostav Group
Metrostav a.s. Koželužská 2450/4 180 00 Praha 8
T 266 019 715, M 606 629 225,

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