Hardangerbrua

Hardangabrua - opening weekend. Images shamelessly copied from wikipedia.

Hardangabrua – opening weekend. Images shamelessly copied from wikipedia.

Last weekend marked the opening of the Hardanger Bridge. This is a bridge over Norway’s second largest fjord, Hardanger, south of Bergen. It will eliminate the need for the ferry crossing, and cut a serious chunk into seven hour driving time between Oslo and Bergen (reducing it by up to 2 hours).

Now, this is not just any bridge.  As it happens, building fjord crossings is challenging for a number of reasons.

  • Fjords are deep. Really deep. Like 1.5km deep. A conventional bridge with pylons is out of the question
  • Fjords are wide. Really wide. Like 1km wide. Suspension bridges will be an engineering challenge. 
  • Fjords meet near vertical rock faces. Any bridge will need to go directly into the mountain.
  • Cruise liners love fjords. They go and hang out up there daily. A bridge will still need to allow a towering cruise liner to pass through.

So, four years in the making, and 2.3 billion NOK (approx 480 million NZD) later, here is Norway’s latest bridge:

  • At time of building world’s longest suspension bridge, at 1.3km.  While some bridge in China is now longer, it is still the world’s longest tunnel-to-tunnel suspension bridge, with 2.5km of tunnel either side.
  • 55m clearance, allowing ample space for the cruise liners
  • 200m high
  • Costs 150NOK to cross
  • Comes complete with pedestrian and cycle crossing (they can cross free)

A video of someone driving across it just before it opened: http://www.bt.no/tv/Slik-blir-turen-over-broen-2948391.html#.UhNcp9J9vcw

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4 Responses to Hardangerbrua

  1. CeilingCat says:

    There is a webcam of the bridge. Not super exciting though, as it’s a bit far away.

    http://www.vegvesen.no/Vegprosjekter/Hardangerbrua/Webkamera

    Also 150NOK sounds like a lot to go over a bridge. Though when you do the numbers with the expected traffic volume (2000 cars per day) the payback period comes out as 21 years. So I guess it’s fair, given the cost of building it… .

    • michelle says:

      Most tolls are around 30 – 50 NOK.

      But, Norwegians love paying tolls, it’s right up there with taxes. Most bridges and tunnels have them.

  2. Derek Wong says:

    Wow, what an impressive feat of civil engineering…

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