Norðfjörður Tunnel

Tunnelling
Iceland

Drilled and blasted tunnel between the villages of Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður on Iceland’s east coast.

Basic information

Project Investor:

Vegagerðin

Project Designer:

Mannvit hf.

Project Duration:

08/2013 – 11/2017

Characteristics

The Norðfjörður tunnel and the connecting road replaced the old highway 92 between the villages of Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður on Iceland’s east coast, which was hardly passable in winter. It was made using the drill & blast method and tunnelling from both ends with a gradient of 1.5–3% over most of the length. The tunnel goes through layers of basalt rock alternating with non-cohesive layers of dust sediment with differing thicknesses of 0.5–9 m. The highest rock covering is 950 m. The drilled part of the work is supplemented at both ends by excavated reinforced concrete tunnels with a total length of 342 m.

The Project in Numbers

  • 7,908 m tunnel length 
  • 7,566 m length of drilled and blasted part 
  • 54.24 m2 ordinary tunnel profile 
  • 443,873 m3 volume excavated 
  • 7,410 m length of new external roads 
  • 190,400 m total length of bolts used

Exceptional Nature of Project

It is an extraordinary local structure that provides residents of Neskaupstaður on Iceland’s east coast with year-round access and markedly increases road safety. Over the long term, the work reduces unfavourable effects on the environment, because the quantity of fuel that a vehicle needs to overcome the original access route is reduced. Norðfjörður is Iceland’s longest road tunnel and also the longest underground structure Metrostav has built as a part of one project.