Construction Equipment GLOBAL
Arne Oddvar Haugeland
Foreman operator Arne Oddvar Haugeland

Driving under the fjords

The challenge of working underground

Driving under the fjords

Blast, load and dump. The pre-work of constructing a tunnel may sound like a simple, mechanic job, but it holds challenges that you do not see at first glance. Blasting foreman Arne Oddvar Haugeland is a pro and has been in the industry for nearly half a century. Every day, he faces the risks of working subsea. Then it is important to be able to trust your colleagues.

Inch by inch, the machines move forward, dig deeper and are slowly forming what is to become the Rogfast tunnel. When finalized, it will be the longest and deepest subsea road tunnel in the world - 392 meters below sea-level and 27 kilometers long. On site, the contractor NCC is building two supporting tunnels, each 2 kilometers long. They will serve as ventilation shafts once the main tunnel is ready. Down here, it is dark, but surprisingly warm.

Foreman operator Arne-Oddvar Haugeland has just transported a load of ointment from a blast. He disembarks the Volvo articulated hauler and closes the door to the cab.

Driving wheel in loader
Arne Oddvar Haugeland drives all the machines on site. “I enjoy driving them,” he says.

He conducts and also performs the detonations on site in the Rogfast project and has worked shifts under water for a while now. You can tell that he both enjoys and master the tasks at hand.

“What can I say, I have always loved machines. I had a Harley motorbike back home that I loved to work on too. And working on a tunnel project is exciting and challenging. Take the dark for example. We work with head torches and lamps, but one should remember that these are the only light sources we have, so it is still challenging”, he says.

When constructing a tunnel, there is always a large portion of explosives involved. In turn, you always risk slides on site.

“Safety is key. I’m on a team with two other guys on our shifts, and it is important that we trust and look after each other.”

Team is working in the tunnel
Working in the dark requires good team work.

And working together for hours in darkness and in a quite challenging environment, brings even more, according to Arne.

“You become really tight. It is camaraderie. It’s a very important part of this job, to get along and to know what to do when you are down there. In the end, it’s a special feeling when you realize that you master the machine and the environment.”

Team at the construction site
Foreman Arne Oddvar Haugeland and his team. “I will miss the camaraderie when I retire”.

Arne is soon ready for retirement and Rogfast will be one of his last projects. When he started out, back in 1974, a lot was different on the sites.

“It has definitely changed to the better when it comes to safety and work environment. The machines are also so much better. The job is easier now than it was then.”

Moving closer to retirement, there is one thing he really will miss.

“The companionship, for sure. But I look forward to just relaxing as well. My plan is to buy an apartment in Spain and perhaps move there.”

Sunny Spain will be a big contrast to the obscure subsea environment in Rogfast. Arne agrees and laughs, before turning the light on his head torch back on again, preparing for another blast.

Arne Oddvar Haugeland

Three short ones with Arne:

In the lunchbox: Nistepakke, a packed lunch with sandwiches. I put salty sausages or cheese and pepper on.
Favorite machine: The Volvo A30. This model has great comfort.
Best construction job so far: I was in the Dominican Republic for two years with a project. Great people, great place. I saw Shakira in concert there, and afterwards I named my German shepherd Shakira.

Driving under the fjords

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