- 13. 08. 2014
Metrostav’s tunnel builders have started driving the 1,565m long Bjornabakkane road tunnel in Central Norway recently. In cooperation with local company Havnen Anlegg, they are going to build avalanche protection for a road in the area of the largest Norwegian fiord, Sognenfjorden, for the Staten Vegvesen authority (similar to the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate). The construction project should be completed in September 2016. In addition to experienced teams of tunnel builders and in cooperation with its local partner, the largest Czech civil engineering company won this project in particular thanks to positive references from its previous Scandinavian projects – two road tunnels in Iceland and the Helsinki metro tunnels.
Ing. Pavel Bűrgel, Project Manager, explains that the underground part of the project will be executed using the Drill & Blast method, which is usually used in Scandinavia due to its stable granite and granodiorite overburden. The Czech experts have their own special equipment for this work, for example, a Sandvik DT 1130 SC 3-boom drilling unit, a Meyco Potenza shotcrete spraying machine, and other machines. The excavated rock will be used for filling a bank section of nearby Lake Veitastrondvatnet where a new roadway will be constructed. The remaining material will be used by the builders to construct avalanche walls. This work will be performed by the partner in the consortium. The tunnel cross-section will range from 69 m2 (profile T8.5) to 45 m2 (profile T5.5). This represents about half the size compared to the two-lane section of the Blanka tunnel. The underground structure will be equipped with single-side emergency bays, a side technical room, and an area for a fire truck turnaround.
Foreign jobs currently represent almost twenty percent of Metrostav’s overall revenues. As there is no tunnel now being driven in the Czech Republic, foreign contracts are the only way to keep specialized tunneling teams together. Several groups of experienced workers are currently building two tunnels on Highways D1 and D3 in neighboring Slovakia. However, Metrostav still has other experts who have gained appreciable experience during the Prague Metro and Blanka tunnel construction. As the company has its subsidiary in Iceland and business offices in Finland and Norway, these tunnels could be the harbinger of future projects in Scandinavia. The company is intensively working on its marketing activities in order to identify new opportunities. And Metrostav’s business offices in a number of East European countries are examining new opportunities where TBM machines from the Prague Metro project could be used.