Norwegian Tunnel Safety Conference Set for Sept. 7-8

During the conference there will be an opportunity to visit what will be the world’s longest submarine road tunnel when the Ryfast project opens in 2019. Photo: Marie von Krogh.

The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Conference (NTSC2017), a two-day international conference offering a comprehensive program, is set for September 7-8 in Stavanger. NPRA Director Terje Moe Gustavsen and Leader of Rogaland County Council Solveig Ege Tengesdal will be attending the opening.

NTSC2017 is a forum that brings together tunnel owners and operators, decision-makers, the fire and rescue services, researchers, and companies that supply goods and services to the tunnel sector. The theme of this year’s conference is the safety of people in tunnels.

“How can we make tunnels safer in the event of fire?” asks Helen Roth, Chair of the Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster. “How does the appearance of a tunnel impact on people, and what kinds of technology can be used to find where people and vehicles are located? How do we raise the alarm when incidents occur in tunnels, and what have we learned from previous accidents? These are just some of the questions that will be answered during the conference.”

Norway has more than 1,000 road tunnels, 700 rail tunnels, and more are being built all the time. In the coming years, NOK 1 trillion ($130 billion USD) will be invested in road and rail infrastructure projects. Existing tunnels will be upgraded and new ones will be built and equipped with new technology.

“Currently, Norway is building some of the longest and most complex tunnels in the world, and the Stavanger region is host to the world’s two longest road tunnels – the Ryfast and Rogfast projects,” says Roth. “This is why we are making great efforts to establish an internationally recognized tunnel safety community in the region.”

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The Ryfast and Rogfast projects, as well as the E39 Coastal Trunk Road (Kyststamvegen) will be presented during the conference.

“There will be a presentation of the E39 Coastal Trunk Road, which is a spectacular project combining submarine tunnels, bridges and safety systems,” says Roth. “The conference will close with an excursion into the Ryfast tunnel.”

There will be a separate exhibition area linked to the conference where Norwegian and international businesses will be exhibiting the very best in today’s tunnel technology. The conference has its roots in the Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster, established in the county of Rogaland. In 2016, the cluster was incorporated into the Norwegian Innovation Clusters (NIC) program, jointly coordinated by SIVA, Innovation Norway and the Research Council of Norway. Its aim is to become one of the leading international players in the field of tunnel safety by 2025.

The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster has more than 100 members, of which the majority are private-sector companies. Many members have backgrounds in the offshore sector, and can contribute with technology and expertise that can fuel a revolution in tunnel safety. The cluster also includes a number of research and educational centers, the emergency services, municipalities, and Rogaland County Council.

This year’s conference is being arranged by the cluster in partnership with the Norwegian Joint Fire Safety Organization (BFO), ITS Norway, Rogaland County Council, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the Norwegian Directorate of Public Roads and RISE Fire Research AS.

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