“We will gradually develop the Norwegian road system and continue to concentrate our efforts on increased accessibility, safety and zero emissions " said Bjørne Grimsrud (NPRA) at the conference "Coastal Highway Route E39 - Extreme bridges in marine environment" during Technology Days in Trondheim.

 At the conference, participants were given insight into some of the challenges of crossing wide, deep and weathered fjords in Western Norway, but not least learn more about some of the world's largest bridge projects and other resilient concrete structures.

 A new perspective on fjord crossings

Grimsrud explained that the NPRA will concentrate on improving sections of the E39, give priority to investment projects with the greatest social benefits.

“The Coastal Highway Route E39 project is a feasibility study on behalf of the Storting. The stretches must be assessed individually whether on land or crossing fjords,” he says.

"I greatly appreciate the important contribution of the researchers who have brought new knowledge to the NPRA and to professionals in Norway and abroad. The knowledge will be useful in many contexts on the entire road network", he emphasizes.

Grimsrud points out that the NPRA will continue to develop technology that can provide increased accessibility along the coast with ferries as a temporary or partial solution.

E39 - a constant construction site

– We aim to make technology available and cut costs. E39 is a constant construction site that consists of many investment projects. We are considering crossing some of the largest fjords with alternative solutions for ferries, because transport economics analyses show that fixed links give the best socio-economic effects, explains Kjersti K. Dunham, programme manager for E39. She adds that after the toll cost periods have ended, it will be free to cross the fjords on a road that is available around the clock - almost regardless of the weather.

Cut costs by NOK 20 billion

"We are working specifically to look at how ten of the fjords along the stretch can be crossed with either bridges or tunnels, says Mathias Eidem (NPRA), project manager for fjord crossings. The Boknafjord (Rogfast) and the Romsdalsfjord are to be crossed using subsea tunnels, while the others can be crossed using different types of bridges. For the Bjørnafjord, the concept is chosen, a curved, end-anchored floating bridge, with side anchoring. We have been faced with a challenge: we must lower the costs. So far, we have managed to lower costs by NOK 20 billion", he says.

"The fjord crossing project consist of more than bridges, our other tasks include creating a design base and we are mapping environmental data for the fjord crossings. It is essential that we have accurate data on conditions such as wind, waves, ground conditions and risk of ship collisions. Some of the world's largest cruise ships will pass under some of our bridges", he says.

60 percent of our export value

One third of the country’s population resides on the Kristiansand-Trondheim stretch, and 60 percent of Norway's export values are created there.

"In the current National Transport Plan, the government has an ambition for a fixed-link, continuous E39, (2022-2033), says Kjartan Hove, strategy director (NPRA). "It is important for us to attract the most competent contributors and contractors, and contract strategy is an important part of our work going forward", he says.


Paulos Wondimu (NPRA) gave an overview of different types of contract strategies and explained that in 2018, Veidekke, Mesta and Implenia were the three largest contractors the NPRA collaborated with.

To attract the most attractive entrepreneurs, we have different forms of strategies, says Wondimu. We are working continually to adapt the contract sizes to market needs.

We will use:

  • more early involvement
  • total contract in up to 40% of future investments
  • total contract with competitive dialogue in the largest contracts
  • more conference dialogue and 1-1 dialogue before announcing a competition
  • post information on future projects on vegvesen.no well in advance so that the companies can prepare

Presentations from the conference The Coastal Highway Route E39: Extreme structures in marine environment.