Lorry Owners wants to review subsea tunnels

truck-train Gudvanga Tunnel Sogn & Fjordane fire subsea tunnels32 persons were evacuated when a truck-train caught on fire in the Gudvanga tunnel night before Saturday. The fire is extinguished. The emergency services were notified of the fire in Sogn og Fjordane at 3.39 am. A convoy of three truck-trains was one and a half km inside the tunnel when one of them caught on fire. Photo: Police / NTB scanpix

Lorry Owners calls for review of subsea tunnels

The Norwegian Lorry Owners Association wish to postpone and review subsea tunnels. They will rather look at bridge and ferry solutions – out of fear of tunnel fires.

Managing Director of the Norwegian Lorry Owners Association, Geir A. Mo, tells VG that he believes one of the subsea projects that ought to be reviewed is the 16 kilometres long tunnel planned under the Romsdalsfjord between Ålesund and Molde. That tunnel is planned at depths down to 360 meters below sea level.

“These tunnels have a huge disaster potential. In six years, we have had three potentially disastrous fires in the 11-kilometre-long Gudvanga tunnel. We all remember the Skatestraum tunnel, where 16,500 litres of petrol exploded. Just imagine if there was a bus full of kids and adults behind that fuel truck?” he inquisites.

Ferries instead

The association states that their basic attitude is that many of the major fjord crossings on the E39 can be postponed; another viable solution is ferries that depart every 20 minutes. Mo points to the crossing of the Sognefjord as an extremely costly project. Other fjords, which require subsea tunnels and/or tunnels with a steep slope, are, furthermore, viewed as unfortunate.

“In addition to being life-threatening, they are also climate and environmentally unfriendly. There exist ferry solutions that can solve this, both satisfactorily and at a reasonable price,” Mo informs the newspaper.

“The county council of Møre & Romsdal has made its decision on the issue of the route between Ålesund and Molde. The decision entails a subsea tunnel,” County Councillor, Jon Aasen (Labour), tells VG.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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