Southern tunnel entrance
|place||Reykjavík and Akranes|
|Number of tubes||1|
|start of building||1996|
|completion||July 11, 1998|
|operator||Spölur (until 2018), Vegagerðin (from 2018)|
|release||July 11, 1998|
|North portal||64 ° 18 ′ 35 " N , 21 ° 54 ′ 14" W.|
|South portal||64 ° 16 ′ 57 " N , 21 ° 50 ′ 20" W.|
The Hvalfjarðargöng are a road tunnel in Iceland .
The Vesturlandsvegur, the part of the Hringvegurs north of Reykjavík in the west of the country, runs through it . Construction began in 1996 and it opened on July 11, 1998. The tunnel is 5770 m long, of which 3750 m below the Hvalfjörður (hence the name) are up to 165 m below sea level. The southern section has a longitudinal incline of 4 to 7% and two lanes, the northern section 8.1% and three lanes.
The tunnel shortens the way around the fjord by almost 50 km. It was planned and built by Icelandic companies and replaces a car ferry between the port of Reykjavík and Akranes . In 2002, the construction was recognized as the most outstanding Icelandic engineering achievement of the decade 1991-2000. For 20 years, until 2018, the tunnel was subject to tolls in order to recoup its construction costs. During this time, the tunnel was owned by the Spölur company , which was also responsible for collecting tolls and for maintenance. On September 28, 2018, the toll was lifted and on September 30, the Spölur tunnel was handed over to the Icelandic road administration Vegagerðin as planned .
14 million vehicles have been registered within 10 years, which means that the capacity utilization of the single-tube tunnel is higher than the planned 5000 vehicles in 24 hours. In 2008, 5500 vehicles passed the tunnel in 24 hours, which, according to the operator, is overloaded with 6000 vehicles. That is why the operator Spölur submitted an application for a second tube to the Ministry of Transport on July 11, 2008. Test drillings for the new, parallel tube were successful, but no corresponding work has yet been started.
In the 2010 ADAC European tunnel test , the Hvalfjarðargöng were the only one of the 26 tested tunnels in 13 countries to receive the rating “poor” and thus came last.
Although there were various positive facilities such as traffic lights and barriers in front of the tunnel entrances, breakdown bays, emergency call alarms, fire extinguishers and a tunnel control center manned 24 hours a day, there was cause for criticism: the testers found the inadequately signposted and illuminated escape routes and the lack of an automatic fire alarm system particularly negative and the weak ventilation system, which in the event of a fire would probably not be sufficient to adequately remove smoke from the tunnel. The approach to the nearest fire brigade was considerably long at a distance of 28 kilometers, there were no loudspeakers, and the alarm and emergency plan was not up to date.
From 2007 to 2013, numerous security improvements were implemented, including an automatic extinguishing system, improved video surveillance, new wiring for the emergency lighting and additional emergency alarms with fire extinguishers. According to the operator, this doubled the safety level, which is 15 times higher than when using the old road around the fjord.
- Spölur (previous operating company) (Icelandic, English)
- Vegagerðin (operator from 2018) (Icelandic, English)
- ADAC tunnel test at a glance
- ↑ Hvalfjordur tunnel , Verkís, accessed September 1, 2013
- ↑ Útnefndu helstu verkfræðiafrek síðustu aldar , Morgunblaðið , article from April 20, 2002
- ↑ Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson: Hvalfjörður Tunnel Toll to End in September ( English ) In: Iceland Review . August 24, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- ↑ Vegagerðin tekur við Hvalfjarðargöngum ( Icelandic ) Vegagerðin. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- ^ ADAC tunnel test 2010 ( Memento from August 1, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- ↑ Hvalfjarðargöng tvöfalt öruggari , Morgunblaðið , article from January 2, 2015