- 07. 07. 2014
A record-breaking 542 meters were driven by Metrostav's workers in Iceland's longest road tunnel, Norðfjörður, in June. They have succeeded in completing 2,500 meters of the tunnel in eight months, which represents about one-third of its total length. The complete tunnel, including its cut-and-cover sections, will be almost eight kilometers long. This project, which has been awarded to the Czech company by the Icelandic State Road Administration Vegagerðin (similar to the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate), will redirect the current Road No. 92 between Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður villages, which is almost impracticable in winter, to run underground.
The construction is being performed using the Drill & Blast method, which is commonly used in Northern Europe due to its stable overburden character. It is thus possible to say that Metrostav really is "blasting" the records in its advance. The cross-section of this underground structure is 54.24 m2, i.e., almost twice as much compared to the single-track metro tunnels in Prague. The presence of Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, Minister of the Interior of Iceland, during the opening of construction last November confirmed that the leaders of the country pay great attention to the construction of this link between both small villages. The Czech tunnel builders, led by Ing. Aleš Gothard, were also visited by Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the Prime Minister of Iceland. The entire project should be completed in the autumn of 2017.
It is not a coincidence that this project has been awarded to the largest Czech civil engineering company, Metrostav. Beginning in 2006, Metrostav constructed a project with a total length of 14.1 kilometers, consisting of two tunnels and a bridge, for the same investor. After its completion in 2010, the driving distance between Siglufjörđur and Ólafsfjörđur towns decreased to as little as 15 kilometers compared to a previous 62km in summer and as many as 234km in winter. The company proved its ability in coping with a complicated construction environment to the full satisfaction of the investor. As a result, both private and public (state and municipal) investors have returned and approached Metrostav with new projects.