The Swedish capital Stockholm looks to a future with less traffic in the city: traffic will soon be re-routed away from the centre to a new ring road around Stockholm, complete with an urban motorway named Norra Länken – Northern Connection. Completed in phases by 2017, Norra Länken constitutes Sweden’s largest road construction project to date.
The new motorway, which largely runs in tunnels, connects Sweden’s main Baltic port at the Värta harbour (Värtahamnen) with the national Swedish and European road networks. Traffic flows will be joined in the major Junction Värtan at the harbour. Construction of this junction, realized with overpasses, takes four years and consumes ten thousand truckloads of concrete alone.
Stainless to ensure structural longevity
Junction Värtan should serve largely maintenance free for a very long time. To achieve this goal, the Stockholm Road Authority specified stainless steel reinforcement for the concrete structures from the very beginning of the design process, aware of the many benefits of stainless that would enable the long life span. The stainless grade was austenitic EN 1.4404 (ASTM 316), a standard grade used in corrosive conditions.
Roads in northern climates are particularly corrosive environments due to chlorides from de-icing salts. Stainless steel reinforcement bars, rebars for short, are an insurance against corrosion, which could result in structural failure. As such, stainless steel rebars help to avoid expensive repairs and resulting disruption to traffic.
The Road Authority’s contractor for the junction design and construction is Skanska, a Sweden-based major multinational construction and development company.
Lean duplex – the optimal stainless rebar choice
Solution Manager Mats Segerbäck of Outokumpu’s Group Sales & Marketing in Sweden recalls the moment when Outokumpu became involved in Junction Värtan. He received a phonecall from a Skanska representative requesting a quote for 1.4404 rebars – Outokumpu is one of the leading manufacturers of stainless rebars in the world.