Side-anchored bridge E39 | Illustration: Norwegian Public Roads Administration

Exploring possible designs for the world’s longest floating bridge

Aas-Jakobsen, COWI and Multiconsult/Johs Holt will help the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to find the best possible design for the bridge on the E39 across Bjørnafjorden in the county of Hordaland. This work will be done in parallel with another design group working independently. The planned 5 km-long bridge would be the longest floating bridge in the world.

13. November, 2018

Working for the Western Norway office of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the partners will further develop and document four alternative bridge designs that have previously been defined. The concept study will help to inform the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s final choice of design.

“There are no standard solutions in a project like this, so we and our partners have put together a team with cutting-edge expertise in transport infrastructure and bridges, as well as more widely in offshore and marine engineering. This is an exciting project that requires us to develop new technology, and we are naturally delighted to be involved in studying and developing the final bridge design”, says Gunnar Egset, department manager at Multiconsult/Johs Holt.

Svein Erik Jakobsen of Aas-Jakobsen will be the project manager for the design group.
“This is perhaps the most challenging transport infrastructure project in Norway in modern times, and we look forward to bringing it closer to finally being completed”, says Jakobsen.

Innovative and groundbreaking
The bridge over Bjørnafjorden is part of the project for the E39 highway to link Bergen, Stord, Haugesund and Stavanger. The current 40-minute ferry crossing should turn into a car journey of just 11 minutes when the ferry is replaced by a floating bridge.

According to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, more predictable and significantly reduced journey times will greatly benefit both the region and the country as a whole. The 5 km-long floating bridge is planned as a dual carriageway with a 110 km/h speed limit, and it will also have paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

Bjørnafjorden is a fjord that is five kilometres wide and almost 600 metres deep. The bridge across it therefore requires the use of new technology, and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has been working on the project since 2009.

“This highly innovative and groundbreaking project is challenging existing standards. It is exciting to be part of a team that brings together leading Norwegian and international engineering expertise”, says Erik Sundet, Vice President for Bridges and Geotechnical Engineering at COWI.

Work on the concept study will start in November 2018 and will continue until August 2019. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has an option to extend the contract until the end of 2020. For the choice of suppliers for the concept study, the quality of the designs offered was key, together with expertise and price.

Aas-Jakobsen, COWI and Multiconsult are partnering with the subcontractors Aker Solutions, Entail, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Moss Maritime and DISSING+WEITLING architecture, as they offer additional cutting-edge expertise in key areas.

Quick facts about the project
The concept study will look at four alternative bridge designs, based on two main design concepts: a side-anchored or end-anchored floating bridge.

Read more about the E39 Coastal Highway Route.