Highways agency Nye Veier has stopped work on European route E6 between Storhove and Roterud over environmental issues around a bridge crossing Lågendeltaet nature reserve.
The decision by Norway’s national agency was made in conjunction with the national Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet) that had received complaints about the bridge’s design and construction which is near Storhove, according to the Norwegian newspaper Byggeindustrien. Nye Veier reportedly said that it did not have an alternative design for the bridge whose construction has so far cost around €38.14 million.
Work on the 23km section from Storhove, just north of Lillehammer, running south to Roterud is part of a larger E6 project that will continue south from Roterud to Moelv - a total of 36.5km from Storhove to Moelv.
Because any route around Lillehammer requires the alignment to cross over or into the nature reserve, Nye Veier received dispensation for construction of the motorway in the Lågen delta from the State Administrator last April. In Late November Lillehammer municipal council agreed on the route and bridge construction.
Lågendeltaet Naturreservat is an inland delta and a very important migration location because of its shallow waters that create islands, canals, beach meadows, swamp and arable land. In the spring, when the water is low, many waders, ducks and other migrating species rest in this delta.
Stopping work on the Storhove-Roterud section will likely have consequences for projects both south and north of that stretch of highway, according to Nye Veier. Any new alignment along the Storhove-Roterud section could affect design, construction and scheduling of the route further south.
A result with a changed line choice for Roterud - Storhove could affect the progress of Moelv-Roterud with the new Mjøsbru, and the planning of national highway 4, according to Nye Veier.
Last summer Nye Veier chose the joint venture BERINOR, which includes BESIX and Rizzani de Eccher, to design the E6 Roterud-Moelv route. The route includes a 1km main bridge over Lake Mjøsa and an 11km section of a four-lane motorway. The bridge will be the world’s longest structural timber crossing and set a benchmark for the use of sustainable materials in major infrastructure projects, according to a statement from BESIX.
“Sustainability aspects, including limited greenhouse gas emissions and quality landscape integration, are among the primary objectives of Nye Veier and BERINOR,” noted a joint statement at the time of the contract award. BESIX and Rizzani de Eccher are associated with the Norwegian contractor AF Gruppen, the designer and consultant Multiconsult and architect Knut Selberg.