Breakthrough in the spectacular project Eysturoy Tunnel on the Faroe Islands

On Friday 7 June, NCC celebrated its breakthrough in the sub-sea Eysturoy Tunnel’s 11.2 km long main branch which, on completion, will cut journey times to the capital Tórshavn from many locations on the Faroe Islands.

At 18 o'clock local time, the Faroese Islands' Transport Minister Heðin Mortensen could trigger the explosive charge. Several invited guests and a large number of Faroese residents were present to experience this landmark in the tunnel project.

“This is an important milestone in our contract on the Faroe Islands, and it showcases NCC’s broad expertise in complex tunnel and infrastructure projects,” says Per Jonsson, head of NCC’s Civil Engineering Norway division.

An open tunnel link has thus been established, so that the Faroese capital Tórshavn can be connected to both sides of Skálafjørður bay, not least by a roundabout below the seabed in the middle of the fjord. Over the next eighteen months or so, the tunnel will now be fitted out, ready for its scheduled opening at New Year 2021.

“NCC has solid experience of building tunnels on the Faroe Islands. We are proud to once again be delivering as planned,” says Aage Lien, head of Tunnel and Heavy Earth Moving at NCC Infrastructure.

Spectacular project

The breakthrough came as planned, 27 months after NCC began the tunnel construction work in January 2017. At its deepest, the tunnel is 189 meters below the seabed and it boasts the Atlantic Ocean’s first and only sub-sea roundabout.

“The tunnel required considerably more injection than was typical for the other tunnels on the Faroe Islands – 7,500 tonnes of injection grout, to be precise. The teams have done an excellent job. NCC has also had to battle with a zone of extremely poor rock quality,” explains project manager Alf Helge Tollefsen from NCC Infrastructure.

NCC has also embarked on the second phase of the Faroese contract, building the 10,5 km Sandøy Tunnel, which will run from Gamlarætt on the island of Streymoy to Traðardalur on Sandoy.

Both tunnels in the contract will lead to safer roads and shorter journey times between Tórshavn and many other places in the Faroes, making an important contribution in bringing the community, businesses and people closer together. Construction of the two tunnels is also the biggest infrastructure investment ever made on the Faroe Islands.