Illustration of the planned bridge over the Sula fjord | Illustration: Multiconsult

Exploring ground-breaking bridge concepts

A team consisting of Aas-Jakobsen, COWI and Multiconsult with Johs Holt will assist the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in developing the best bridge solutions for the E39 where it crosses the Sula Fjord and Halsa Fjord. The consultancy team has been awarded an impressive five in eight preliminary projects for the two fjord crossings in the county of Møre and Romsdal.

19. May 2021

The team has been tasked with developing the preliminary project for all suspension bridge solutions for crossing the Sula Fjord and for a suspension bridge across the Halsa Fjord. Both fjord crossings will be part of the ferry-free E39 highway in Møre and Romsdal counties.

“We won thanks to the solid solutions we presented and our team’s unique competencies, and we’re very delighted to be recognised by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. It’s a feather in the cap of the entire consultancy team’s bridge specialists, and now that we’ve signed the contract, we are excited to get started,” says Erik Sundet, Vice President of Bridges and Geotechnical Disciplines in COWI in Norway.

Pushing boundaries

“This project is both interesting and stimulating, and really pushes the boundaries when it comes to bridge construction. We will draw on experience from past major and innovative bridge projects,” says Gunnar Egset, Department Manager of Transport Infrastructure with Multiconsult and Managing Director of Johs Holt.

Egset stresses that the team will build on its experience gained from, e.g., jointly designing the bridge solution across the Bjørna Fjord.

Innovative bridge solutions

The Sula Fjord spans from Hareid and Sula and measures between 3.5 and 4.0 kilometres in width and down to 450 metres in depth where the bridges will be located. The section is exposed to severe winds and waves. Aas-Jakobsen, COWI and Multiconsult will explore five alternative suspension bridges with one, two and three spans, featuring both fixed and floating foundations – and many of these concepts have not yet been realised. Depending on the final solution, this may be the longest bridge span in the world on a suspension bridge.

The Halsa Fjord is fjord arm in Nordmøre district, measuring two kilometres in width and 500 metres in depth at the future bridge location. For this location, the consultancy team will explore a concept for a two-span suspension bridge on a floating foundation in the middle of the fjord, anchored to the fjord bed.

“These projects let the consultancy companies apply and further the competencies and experiences they’ve gained through their involvement in advanced long-span bridges, floating bridges and marine structures in Norway and abroad. It’s also especially rewarding to work on projects that include core specialists from different companies. We’re excited to get started and look forward to a fruitful collaboration with the Norwegian Roads Administration,” says Jarle Rønvik, Director of the Bridge Division in Aas-Jakobsen.

The team also has access to specialist competencies through its subsuppliers, Aker Solution including Kværner, Moss Maritime, Entail, NGI, Safetec, Dissing + Weitling and Plan Arkitekter.

The study of the different concepts will start in May and must be completed by 1 April 2022.