Exploring designs for the world’s longest floating bridge


Aas-Jakobsen, COWI and Multiconsult/Johs Holt are working with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to find the most effective bridge solution to take the E39 over Bjørnafjorden in Norway. The planned 5-km floating bridge will be the longest in the world.

The project to find the most effective solution to the planned floating bridge is being carried out on behalf of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Western Region, and involves developing and documenting four defined bridge options.

The feasibility study will form the basis for the Administration’s final choice of solution.

“In a project like this, there is no standard solution, and we have established a group together with our partners with cutting-edge expertise on transport and bridges, offshore and marine operations in general. This is an exciting assignment and we are naturally very happy to be involved in identifying and developing the final bridge design,” says department head Gunnar Egset from Multiconsult/Johs Holt.

Svein Erik Jakobsen from Aas-Jakobsen will be the project manager for the design group.

“This is perhaps the most challenging transport project in Norway in modern times, and we are looking forward to bringing it closer to final realisation,” says Jakobsen.

Floating bridge can cut crossing time from 40 to 11 minutes

The bridge over Bjørnafjorden is part of the E39 project to link Bergen, Stord, Haugesund and Stavanger in Norway. The crossing now takes around 40 minutes by ferry, which will be cut to 11 minutes when the ferry is replaced with a floating bridge.

A more predictable journey and significantly reduced travelling time will provide major socio-economic benefits at both regional and national level, according to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

The 5-km long floating bridge will have four lanes with a speed limit of 110 km/h, plus a footway/cycle path.

Bjørnafjorden is five kilometres wide and almost 600 metres deep, so the crossing calls for new technology, and the Administration has been working on this since 2009.

“This is a very innovative and ground-breaking project, which challenges established standards. It is exciting to be part of a team that brings together some of the top Norwegian and international engineering expertise,” says Erik Sundet, Vice-President Bridges and Geotechnical Disciplines at COWI.

Work on the feasibility study will start in November 2018 and run to August 2019. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has an option for further assistance until 2020.

The choice of providers for the feasibility study was driven by the quality of the proposed solutions, together with technical capacity and price.

Aas-Jakobsen, COWI and Multiconsult have engaged Aker Solutions, Entail, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Moss Maritime and DISSING+WEITLING architecture as sub-contractors with additional top-level expertise in key areas.


Four bridge options will be looked at in the feasibility study, based on two basic approaches: a side-anchored or an end-anchored floating bridge.

The study will run in parallel with another independent design group.

Get in contact

Erik Sundet

Erik Sundet
Vice president
Bridges and Geotechnical diciplines, Norway

Tel: +47 41564897