Rv 555 Sotrasambandet – The Sotra Connection is a proposed four-lane road connection between Sotra / Øygarden and Bergen in Norway. It is being developed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA).

The Sotra Connection was approved by the Norwegian parliament in May 2018. Construction is expected to commence in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in 2026. The total estimated investment required for the completion of Rv 555 Sotrasambandet is approximately Nkr10bn ($1.24bn).

Rv 555 Sotrasambandet development

The Sotra Connection is being undertaken as a priority project in the national transport plan for 2018-2023. It is one of the three major road projects to be implemented under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The preparatory work for the project began in 2018 and included the construction of 1,500m-long cable tunnel for high-voltage power cables, as well as the rearrangement of a high-voltage power line. The project made a breakthrough in the cable tunnel in November 2019.

NPRA shortlisted three consortiums for the Sotra Connection contract in April 2020, including Sotra link, Via Sotra, and ITIAS. Sotra link comprises FCC Construcción, Salini Impregilo, SK Engineering & Construction, and Macquarie Corporate Holdings, while Via Sotra includes VINCI Concessions, VINCI Highways, Acciona Concesiones, and Implenia Switzerland. ITIAS consortium is made up of ITINERA, IHI, and ASTM.

The winning consortium will be responsible for designing, engineering, construction, financing, and operation and maintenance for 25 years.

Rv 555 Sotrasambandet project details

The Sotra Connection will mainly include a new 9.4km-long four-lane section of the Rv 555, along with 0.7km of the Fv 562 road towards Askøyvegen. Approximately 24km of two-lane access roads will also be built.

The road system will have new four-lane motorways, 22 bridges, 23 portals and four twin-tube tunnels. It will also feature separate lanes for public transport.

“The Sotra Connection will mainly include a new 9.4km-long four-lane section of the Rv 555, along with 0.7km of the Fv 562 road towards Askøyvegen.”

The project will include a new four-lane suspension bridge crossing a fjord to link Bergen with the Sotra island. A separate pedestrian path and a separate bicycle lane, 5m-wide, will be created.

The bridge will have a width of 29.5m and length of 954m with a main span length of 592m. The height of the bridge towers will be nearly 144m.

The new road network will comprise approximately 11km of road tunnels, including 950m-long Kolltveit Tunnel, 850m-long Straume Tunnel and 750m-long Knarrvika Tunnel.

The Drotningsvik Tunnel, which will be nearly 2,000m-long, will have junctions and ramps to Drotningsvik. The Harafjell Tunnel will be reconstructed and the project will also include three tunnels for pedestrians and cyclists at Janahaugen, Kiplehaugen and Harafjellet. The Sotra Connection will also include realignment of power lines and the creation of a new main water pipe and facilities for public transportation and parking.

Project benefits

The road project will address the growth in traffic between Sotra and Bergen. It will help in resolving bottlenecks for road users in the Nye Øygarden and Bergen municipalities.

Rv 555 Sotrasambandet will offer improved connections to urban centres, main roads, railway, airport and sea transport. It will also improve mobility, public transportation services, travel time and traffic safety.

Contractors involved

BKK Enotek is responsible for installing nine power cables from Litlesotra, over the old Sotra bridge and to Alvøen / Breivik.

BEIN Engineering is supporting BKK Enotek by providing services such as analysing and calculating cable runs, designing both permanent installation bends as well as temporary installation equipment.