The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) recently awarded Fugro a second major contract associated with its largest ever road project, the E39 Coastal Highway. Almost 50km shorter that the existing route, the project is expected to half the journey time of approximately 21 hours.
The work relates to a 1,100km stretch of the highway, running from Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim in central Norway, which will require a total investment of NOK 340 billion.
The one-year contract will see Fugro conduct seabed investigations in four fjords in the county of Møre og Romsdal (Vartdalsfjorden, Sulafjorden, Romsdalsfjorden and Halsafjorden) where vast engineering works are planned. The geophysical and geotechnical data acquired will inform bridge foundation and tunnel designs for fjord-crossings along the route. Above and below sea level tunnels, an end-anchored floating bridge, a submerged floating tube bridge and a multi-span suspension bridge are amongst the innovative solutions being considered to replace the seven ferries currently operating along that stretch of coast.
The work is split into two phases. The first involves two vessels undertaking geophysical and shallow geotechnical mapping of the fjord-crossing areas. Fugro Helmert will cover the shallow, nearshore areas acquiring multi-channel sparker data. The second vessel will use a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to acquire detailed geophysical data in the deeper parts of the fjords and also undertake seabed sampling and cone penetration testing.
Planned to begin in August 2018, Phase 2 will comprise geotechnical drilling at locations identified during the first phase. The high-tech drillship Fugro Synergy will be utilised for the deeper drilling. In 2016, NPRA awarded Fugro a 12-year environmental measurement and monitoring programme on the E39 project. Long-term recording of wind profiles, ocean waves and current profiles commenced at three fjords in 2017.
By Helen Atkinson