Friday June 7th saw contractor NCC celebrate breakthrough of the main branch of the 11.2km long, 10.2m wide Eysturoy Tunnel on the Faroe Islands.
At 6pm local time, the Faroese Islands’ Transport Minister Heðin Mortensen triggered the final explosive charge on the drill and blast drive.
The US$162M contract value tunnel connects the Faroese capital Tórshavn can be with both sides of Skálafjørður bay. Over the next eighteen months the tunnel will now be fitted out, ready for its scheduled opening in the New Year, 2021.
The breakthrough came 27 months after NCC began tunnel construction work in January 2017. At its deepest, the tunnel is 189m below the seabed and it boasts the Atlantic Ocean’s first and only sub-sea roundabout.
“The tunnel required considerably more injection than was typical for the other tunnels on the Faroe Islands – 7,500 tonnes of injection grout, to be precise. The teams have done an excellent job. NCC has also had to battle with a zone of extremely poor rock quality,” explains project manager Alf Helge Tollefsen from NCC Infrastructure.
NCC has also embarked on the second phase of the Faroese contract, building the 10.5km, 9m wide Sandøy Tunnel, which will run from Gamlarætt on the island of Streymoy to Traðardalur on Sandoy. The US$127M contract value, drill and blast tunnel is scheduled for completion in 2023.
The client on both tunnels is the P/F Eystur- og Sandoyartunlar (EST)/Faroese Government, and their construction is the biggest infrastructure investment ever made on the Faroe Islands.