Sunday, January 16

Must urgently close one run in the Lørentunnelen

The westbound run of the Lørentunnel is closed for another week. On Friday morning, the traffic between Ryen and Økern was virtually quiet.

From Thursday at 22 o’clock, the westbound race in the Lørentunnelen (which is on the right side of the picture) will be completely closed to traffic until Saturday 15 January.

At 12 o’clock on December 17, a concrete truck overturned in the westbound run of the Lørentunnel. The concrete truck caused major damage to the tunnel. Now the damage must be repaired.

Therefore, the tunnel race towards Sinsen was completely closed from Thursday at 10 pm. If everything goes according to plan, the race will be reopened on the morning of Saturday 15 January.

Motorists heading west on Ring 3 on Friday morning had to stand in a queue at least 5 kilometers long between Ryen and Løren. At times, traffic was virtually stationary on this stretch.

Detour via local road

– The closure will unfortunately create delays in traffic. We encourage people to choose alternative routes. If necessary, leave the car. Those who are going far west, for example, should consider driving via the Opera Tunnel, is the clear message from Ole Kristian Kjosbakken.

He is the construction manager at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

Detours will be signposted via Dag Hammarskjølds vei. This is where the traffic on Ring 3 went before the Lørentunnel opened in 2013. But now Dag Hammarskjøld’s road is a local road with more traffic lights, fewer lanes and a low speed limit. This means that those who are going to drive west on Ring 3, have to line up on a very long queue between Ryen and Sinsen.

– It is the only detour we have, says Kjosbakken.

Mette Brunæs is a traffic operator at Vegtrafikksentralen. She can tell that the snow that fell on Friday night and Friday morning, created an extra long queue on the road network.

– There have been long queues. This is how it is on the road network from time to time, says Brunæs.

Must strip the tunnel

The accident in the Lørentunnelen before Christmas led to major damage to the tunnel construction.

– We have to take down and replace roof and wall elements in the tunnel room and apply shotcrete in parts of the roof. This causes the electrical system to be affected and the tunnel to become dark in addition to the fire protection being lost. Our contractors will work day and night to get the job done as quickly as possible, says Kjosbakken.

Both wall and roof elements in the Lørentunnel’s westbound run were damaged in the concrete truck overturn before Christmas. From Thursday 6 January to Saturday 15 January, the tunnel’s westbound run will be closed in connection with repair work.

– Is it not possible to close the tunnel only at night?

– No. There is an extensive job to be done. And since we have to take down lights and parts of the construction, it will not be safe to drive there. If we finish the job before 15 January, we will open the tunnel immediately, Kjosbakken answers.

– Is it not possible with two-way traffic in the second race?

– It has been considered, but the tunnel is not made for it.

The contractors Mesta and Veidekke are carrying out the repair work in the Løren tunnel on behalf of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

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