The replacement of two single-lane road tunnels from the mid 1960s with modern ones is well underway to properly connect Klaksvík to villages Árnafjørður and Norðdepil in the Northern Isles region of the Faroes.
Earlier this month, the final blast of rock took place in both tunnels, the last one on November 15th. Expected completed in about two years, the new tunnels are to comply with today’s standards of safety and comfort, in sharp contrast with the old ones.
Construction work on the two new tunnels finally began in September 2021 after plenty of debates and airing of opinions from frustrated commuters.
The combined length of both tunnels will be about 4.1 kilometers, the Árnafjørður one 1.9 km and the Hvannasund one 2.2 km. With connecting roads included, the combined length of both projects will amount to about 6.5 km of new road, according to public road authority Landsverk.
“A new tunnel in the Faroes is not just another tunnel — it is so much more than that,” Landsverk Director General Sigurd Lamhauge noted on the occasion of the November 15th breakthrough. “A new tunnel is a step into the future. This indeed we the Faroese, who for the past 60 years have connected our society with roads, bridges and tunnels, are aware of.”
“A tunnel is a breakthrough,” the Director General added. “It’s a gate into a new world; a gate that binds country and people together, that shortens and connects stronger bonds.”
“Over these past 60 years, the world has changed so much and the same can be said of our society,” Mr. Lamhauge said, adding that the old, smaller and narrower tunnels clearly represented a different era.
“The new tunnel mouth is more than four times the size of that of the old ones. That becomes evident when we drive through the old ones; they are from a different era — narrow, dark, and perhaps a bit eerie.”
The combined cost of the twin project in the Northern Isles is 522 million DKK (70.2 mn. EUR), with estimated time of completion in the fall of 2024.