Iceland awards its longest road tunnel 12 Feb 2013
Patrick Reynolds for TunnelTalk
- The IAV/Marti JV is selected to excavate the 7.5km-long Vadlaheidi toll road tunnel in Iceland.
Fig 1. Alignment of Iceland’s Vadlaheidi road tunnel
- Questions over funding delayed the scheme following the Icelandic financial crisis, then further delays resulted from bids in late 2011 coming near or higher than the client's available funding.
- Following a reassessment of the cost-benefit, political approval allowed final preparations to agree the contract with lowest bidder. Work is due to start after the winter to get under way around April, with tunnelling to commence in July. Geology is basalt with sedimentary beds, and mixed face conditions are expected. The tunnel's completed horseshoe-shaped section will be 4.6m high and 9.5m wide; completion is scheduled for the end of 2016.
- On 1 February the local/Swiss joint venture of IAV/Marti signed an ISK8.85 billion contract to excavate the single tube tunnel near the town of Akureyri in northern Iceland (Fig 1).
- National roads authority Vegagerdin is now set to issue tender documents to three parties prequalified to bid for the next, even longer scheme – the 7.9km-long Nordfjordur – which is due to move to construction later this year.
The three groups selected to bid for Nordfjordur also tendered on Vadlaheidi. They are:
• local firm Istak; and,
• the Czech/local joint venture of Metrostav/Sudurverk.
New toll tunnel will improve road connections in north Iceland
- Tender documents are to go out in the next few weeks and the client anticipates tunnelling could get under way around November.
- Nordfjordur is located on the fjordic coast of east Iceland, the closest town being Eskifjordur. The scheme includes a main bore of approximately 7.63km though basalt with interbedded sedimentary layers. The base width is 8m (T8 profile). Backing for the scheme was secured in the Icelandic Parliament in the first half of last year (2012).
- Once completed, Vadlaheidi will be the longest single tube continuous road tunnel in Iceland, but that record may only last for about a year should Nordfjordur and its 7km of access roads be completed, as scheduled, for late 2017.
- Presently, the longest road tunnel in Iceland is Olafsfjord, part of the Hedinsfjord scheme linking neighbouring deep valleys in the north of the country. Hedinsfjord was built by Metrostav and was opened in late 2010. A month before, in north-west Iceland, Marti completed the 5.4km long Oshlid road tunnel scheme.
Iceland progresses road tunnel plans - TunnelTalk, July 2012
Iceland bids new Vadlaheidi road tunnel - TunnelTalk, May 2011
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