New transport corridor to boost the economy in Stockholm

Stockholm's continued expansion creates a demand for greater accessibility. COWI has won a contract for the evaluation and detailed design of a tunnel carrying both road traffic and public transport.


The Swedish Transport Administration has commissioned the tunnel project, 'Östlig förbindelse' (Eastern connection) in an effort to increase accessibility and limit the vulnerability of the transport system in the Stockholm area.

As one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, the Swedish capital struggles with soaring housing prices and heavy traffic congestion with drivers experiencing an estimated 33-minute delay per every hour of travel during peak hours. ‘Östlig förbindelse’ will connect the Southern Link in Sickla with the Northern Link in Vartan effectively completing the ring road around Stockholm.

Two alternatives are on the table, an immersed tunnel and a rock tunnel. As a global leader within tunnels COWI is the selected sub-contractor for the detailed design of the new connection and will begin the project by evaluating the two alternatives to determine which one is preferable to the other. COWI will also evaluate the various kinds of public transport that can be led through the tunnel such as light rail or busses.

“We are proud to become part of this important project, which is intended to give a substantial boost to the regional economic development and promote new housing construction to take off some of the pressure on the real estate market in the Stockholm area,” says Torbjörn Spetz, Senior Vice President of COWI Infrastructure.

A world record-holder within tunnels

Last year, COWI won the major contract on the detailed design of Ostlänken, a high-speed railway between Gothenburg and Stockholm. COWI has also been involved in the design of several other Swedish tunnels like the Marieholm Tunnel in Gothenburg and the Söderström Tunnel in Stockholm.

The team will also draw from COWI’s array of global experience in immersed tunnels including the world record-holding tunnel between Hong Kong and China and tunnels in Bosporus, Turkey and Thessaloniki, Greece.

"We have great expectations for the cooperation between the principal contractor WSP and our own experts who are very experienced in the field of tunnes," says Torbjörn Spetz.


Stockholm, Sweden


Swedish Transport Administration. Has allocated €200 million for work on the preparatory investigation and design of 'Östlig förbindelse' (Eastern connection)

Principal contractor:

WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff Engineering


  • The project comprises several stages from location and traffic studies, highway and railroad planning to project documentation and construction management.
  • Among others, COWI will advise on hydrology, geotechnics and construction and be partly responsible for the environmental impact assessment.

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COWI employee Søren Kragh Pedersen

Søren Kragh Pedersen
Head of Group PA & PR
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 2025 7018