Czech miners started to drive the longest road tunnel in Iceland Czech miners started to drive the longest road tunnel in Iceland Czech miners started to drive the longest road tunnel in Iceland

  • 14. 11. 2013
  • Tisková zpráva

Metrostav’s miners started the construction of the Norðfjörður tunnel on Thursday the 14th November 2013 by ceremonial firing at the Eskifjörður portal located on the eastern coast of Iceland. The tunnel will become Iceland’s longest road tunnel with its length of nearly 8 kilometres. The Norðfjarðargöng project will make life life in the region significantly easier because it will interconnect locations which are accessible with great difficulties during winter seasons due to the mountainous terrain. For Czech builders, this contract means returning to an old address because of the fact that they completed two important road tunnels in this area 3 years ago.
„We expect that very hard work again awaits us, but it is a common part of our profession. During the previous project we encountered problems connected with enormous inflows of high-pressure water. We hope that the same is not in store for us at the Norðfjarðargöng project. On the other hand, all of us are fond of memories of the support local people showed to us. Owing to it, all difficulties are easier to overcome,” says David Cyroň, the production deputy of the director of Metrostav Division 5.
The Norðfjörður double-lane tunnel will create a diversion of the famous road No. 92, connecting the village of Eskifjörður with the small town of Neskaupstaður, which requires above all a great deal of driving skill and courage. The most complicated part of the road is a 640m long single-lane tunnel, where cars can pass each other only at several widened places. The importance of this transport link is enhanced by the fact that a regional hospital and a high school are located in Neskaupstaðuru.
The project is based on the effort to prevent the migration of the population from countryside and preserve the traditional way of life on the island. It is necessary for the decentralisation of important institutions and because of the mountainous terrain to invest in transport infrastructure.
All drives under the contract will be carried out using the traditional Nordic Drill&Blast method, which lies in disintegrating rock by blasting. Metrostav’s miners will proceed simultaneously from two points: the Eskifjörður portal (up to the distance of 4.8 kilometres) and the Norðfjörður portal (up to the distance of 2.7 kilometres). In both cases tunnels will be driven uphill. Especially the Norðfjörður portal is remote from civilisation. The closest inhabited house lies about 5km away, on a road which is hard to maintain during winter.
Metrostav’s miners feel at home there. During their previous engagement in Iceland they constructed the Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður tunnels with the aggregate length of nearly 11km. Thanks to the tunnels, the length of the way to civilisation was reduced by 120 kilometres. In addition, they have recently finished the excavation of the running tunnels of metro between the cities of Helsinki and Espoo.
The Norðfjörður tunnel should be completed in the autumn of 2017. The project owner is Vegagerðin company, which is an analogy to our Roads and Motorways Directorate. The contractor is a consortium formed by Metrostav and a local company Suðurverk.