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Developing unique suspension bridge on floating foundation across Bjørnafjorden

Photo: Illustration: Statens vegvesen

​Norwegian bridge and offshore competencies are combined to develop unique suspension bridge on a floating foundation across Bjørnafjorden.

​Against fierce competition from Norwegian and international consulting companies, a team consisting of COWI AS, Aas-Jakobsen AS, Johs. Holt AS, TDA, Moss Maritime, NGI and PLAN arkitekter has been awarded the project of further developing a suspension bridge on a floating foundation across Bjørnafjorden in cooperation with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

The development will combine international bridge competencies and leading Norwegian offshore competencies in floating structures to ensure a safe, cost-effective structure that is suitable for crossing wide and deep fjords.

"We are excited to be the preferred partner of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration when it comes to developing this type of technically complex projects," says Svein Erik Jakobsen, head of the Bridge department at Aas-Jakobsen AS.

The project is headed by Aas-Jakobsen, which – as is the case for COWI and Johns. Holt – holds vast competencies in design of long-span bridge structures and floating bridges in Norway and internationally.

TDA has contributed its expertise in analysis and hydrodynamics, e.g. via its involvement in the previous phase of the project. Architectural firm PLAN arkitekter will draw on its specialists in holistic layout of major structures to elaborate the architectonic expression that was developed in the early phases. When factoring in Moss Maritime, specialists in floating offshore structures, and NGI, which possesses specialist competencies in offshore geotechnical engineering and submerged foundations, the team has vast experience and solid interdisciplinary competencies of high international standard. 

"This is truly a unique bridge concept, and we're looking forward to contributing experts from both our Norwegian and international bridge units to this ground-breaking project," says Erik Sundet, Head of Section in Bridges and Structures, COWI Norway.

"The project team previously worked on a similar solution for crossing Sognefjorden. Now is our chance of taking a huge step forward in the field of floating suspension bridges," says Gunnar Egset, General Manager of Johs. Holt AS.

"This represents a brand new field of activity for Moss Maritime where our offshore-floating competencies are highly relevant and we are thrilled to be part of such a competent team," says Ida Husem, CEO of Moss Maritime.

"It'll be interesting to continue work on a bridge concept that explores new opportunities in international bridge construction," says Civil Engineer Yngve Olav Aartun at PLAN arkitekter AS.

Published 25.01.2016

Facts about Bjørnafjorden

​Bjørnafjorden is almost five kilometres wide and some 500 metres deep, and it is difficult to cross using conventional bridge structures. Consequently, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has developed alternative solutions.

The team consisting of Johs. Holt, COWI and Aas-Jakobsen developed a similar solution for crossing Sognefjorden, and analysed the possibility of crossing Bjørnafjorden by means of a floating bridge with shorter spans.

When completed, the bridge will be part of the ferry-free E39 and the ferry-free connection between Bergen and Stavanger.

LAST UPDATED: 13.12.2016