Traffic management system in tunnels in Faroe Islands


EFLA recently designed a new traffic management system in the Árnafjarðargöng tunnel (1.680 m/5.512 feet) and Hvannasundsgöng tunnel (2.120 m/6.955 feet) in Faroe Islands, but the two tunnels are almost joined to each other. The tunnels are in the island Borðey and connects Klaksvík to Árnafjörður and the two towns in the north, Hvannasund and Norðdepil. The tunnels are single-laned and are one of the first tunnels that were constructed in Faroe Islands in the sixties.

  • Tunnelen

Dangerous situation in single-laned circumstances

Since the tunnels are single-laned it can be dangerous when larger vehicles, buses and trailers cross, as the turnouts in the tunnels aren't broad enough for them to pass one another. In those situations drivers of larger vehicles were forced to drive backwards out of the tunnel, causing inconvenience and possible danger. The traffic in the tunnel has become increasingly congested, especially during the summertime. The tunnels are also vital for the area's school buses which transport children between the neighbouring villages. Therefore, it was vital to create a safe traffic planning system that could control the traffic of bigger vehicles in the tunnels. EFLA was asked to design the system, but EFLA has designed similar traffic management system in an tunnel in the East Fjord in Iceland.

EFLA's team designed a traffic management system that spots larger vehicles and halters them outside the tunnel if another large vehicle is inside them. The traffic system has sensors at all three entrances of the tunnel and can prevent large vehicles from crossing in the tunnel. Landsverk in Faroe Islands that oversees roads, harbours and buildings, supervised the project and was a collaborator in their proceeding. The work on the project began in November 2015 and the traffic management system was implemented in June 2016.

Promising experience

Gunn H. Møller, project manager at Landsverk, is very pleased with the traffic management system and says that the experience of it has been very promising and reported that travellers were content with the system and its performance.

The system also provides the possibility of closing down all traffic in the tunnel. Landsverk or the Police force can operate that possibility by remote control. This function proved itself useful recently when shoal of pilot whales was seen in Hvannasund and many people came along to see the whales, which led to a traffic jam in the tunnel. With EFLA's system in operation, the police could easily intervene and monitor the traffic through the tunnel accordingly.