According to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA), the new four-lane motorway scheme outside Bergen will include the construction of around 11km of tunnels, 4.4km of two-lane tunnels and 1.8km of ramp tunnels. There will also be 0.5km of tunnelling for pedestrians and cyclists, along with a new bridge, 38 smaller bridges and other structures.

Once bids have been received, the negotiation phase will begin with subsequent bid adjustments through spring 2021, with the successful bidder announced in the summer.

NPRA projects director Kjartan Hove said that much of the project work would be about dealing with landowners, neighbours, businesses, municipalities and the county administration.

“There is a clear choice of route alignment for the road to be built, and clear interfaces with other parties and road owners. This makes the work more predictable for the PPP contractor with regard to what is to be built. At the same time, this makes the project risk manageable for the parties involved," Hove said.

Preparatory work and procurement have been ongoing throughout the second half of 2020. Covid-19 requirements have seen the clarification phase conducted digitally. Three competing international consortiums have presented their work to the NPRA for consideration.

It is highly likely that tunnel excavation will be mostly by drill and blast, given Norwegian tradition and a statement from the NPRA which said the work would be done ‘the Norwegian way’. Construction work is expected to begin in late autumn 2021.