Norway road and rail tunnels awarded Apr 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
The Hochtief/ Veidekke JV is selected to construct the mainly tunnelled middle section of Phase 3 of Norway's joint road-rail E6-Dovrebanen Project.
E6 highway and Dovrebanen rail line hug the lake shore

E6 highway and Dovrebanen rail line hug the lake shore

Three lakeside tunnels totaling 6.4km will be built using the drill+blast method, in a contract priced at NK1.5 billion (€210 million) for the National Rail Authority, Jernbaneverket, and the Public Road Administration.
Hochtief of Germany (40%) and Veidekke of Norway (60%) will now build (for the Public Road Administration) the single bore 2.3km Morskog traffic tunnel. The tunnel forms part of a 5.6km realigned section of the bigger NK7.5 billion (€1 billion) road project to upgrade a 110km length of the main Scandinavian north-south E6 highway from two to four lanes.
Norway's Public Road Administration says the upgrade for the notoriously dangerous section of busy road will reduce fatalities by 80%. The tunnels are being constructed to reduce the environmental and noise impact of a four-lane highway on local lakeside communities.
The Hochtief/ Veidekke JV came in as the lowest bidder. Rival bids included AF Group (Norway), with a price NK2.2 billion (€300 million), and the NCC/ Alpine JV, with a price of NK1.8 billion (€252 million).
  • Road (blue) and rail (red) tunnel alignments on P3 middle section

  • 110km highway widening

Because of the road's close proximity to the main Trondheim-Oslo Dovrebanen rail line, the project will also comprise the construction (for rail operator Jernbaneverket) of a second and third single bore tunnel as part of a high-speed-capable 17km rail line upgrade between Minnesund and Kleverud. This part of the project involves earthwords for 6.8km of double track railway, and the construction of the 3.9km Ulvintunnelen and 200m Morstuatunnelen. Once complete it is estimated the improvements will cut 30 minutes off rail travel times between Trondheim and Oslo.
Norway has only just recently completed a comprehensive national feasibility study concerning the development of a high-speed rail network. The report, released in February this year (2012), concluded that rolling out a nationwide high-speed network is "completely feasible".
Phases 4 of the highway element of the project, Kolomoen to Moelv (43km) and Phase 5 from Moelv to Biri (5km of newly built highway) are still in the planning and financing stages. Phase 3 also includes two other road/rail tunnelled sections. The first comprises twin tunnels of 650m, 2.3km and 700m for a total tunnel length of 7.3km, while the second includes a two further separate 2.5km long road and rail tunnels.
Norway moves ahead with high speed rail - TunnelTalk, October 2011
Outreach for Norway's major rail tunnel project - TunnelTalk, March 2011
Direct twin-tube route for Oslo-Ski railway - TunnelTalk, October 2010

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