- 15. 10. 2014
Helping Connect Places and People
Almost half – exactly 3,686m – of the 7,566m long Nordfjardargöng Tunnel in the east of Iceland has been excavated by Metrostav's team, led by Ing. Aleš Gothard. This, the longest local road tunnel, is being constructed for the company Vegagerdin (similar to the Czech Road and Motorway Directorate). It should be completed in the autumn of 2017.
This underground structure will simplify travel in the region, as it interconnects places that are virtually inaccessible in winter due to the local mountain terrain. The builders are advancing from two sides: from the Eskifjörður portal to a distance of 4.8 kilometers, and from the Norðfjörður portal to a distance of 2.7 kilometers.
The presence of Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, Minister of Interior of Iceland, during the groundbreaking ceremony last November confirms that the country’s leadership is paying great attention to the construction of this link between the two small villages. The Czech tunnel builders were also visited by the Prime Minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson. For Metrostav, this is not the first project in the country of fire and ice. In 2006-2010, the company built a 14.1 km road project, with two tunnels and a bridge, for the same investor.
According to the original plan, the Nordfjardargöng Tunnel was to be excavated just using the traditional Scandinavian Drill&Blast tunneling method, which consists of disintegration of the rock by blasting. Since it is being driven through alternating solid basalt rock and non-cohesive sediment, the works in the sediment sections, with a thickness over 2.5m, require reinforcement with lattice girders (BTX). Ing. Gothard noted: “Our builders successfully apply their experience with both the Drill&Blast method and with the New Austrian Tunneling Method within one project.”
In addition to Iceland, the traditional Czech civil engineering company also successfully works in Finland and Norway, Poland, Belarus, and is striving for new projects in Southeastern Europe.