Archimedes Bridge

More than 100 years after its "invention", its realization is being evaluated in Norway: Alumna Arianna Minoretti is at the helm

Dall’archivio MAP #3

THE E39 IS A ROAD IN NORWAY that is not of the standards to which we are accustomed. For long stretches, it is not even a road. Seven ferries transport road vehicles along a route which takes about 21 hours to climb the 1100 kilometres from the western coast.

The Norwegian administration’s goal is to reduce the duration of the journey to 11 hours, through infrastructure immersed in the landscape: floating bridges and underwater tunnels, innovations and old techniques such as Archimedes’ bridge, a design which can now be realised thanks to the latest technologies.

ponte di archimede
Credits: Statens Vegvesen

Behind these infrastructural works, which will change a nation and more, is an Italian: the Alumna Arianna Minoretti, a civil engineer from the Politecnico di Milano.

“The Norwegian state was looking for someone who was interested in working on this big project on the E39, so I sent in my application”,

she recounts.

Looking back now, it still seems so strange to me. “My current boss called me to ask if I could attend an interview in a week’s time. The interview lasted two hours and at the he told me: “Look, this will be my last interview because I think you are the person we are looking for. I will send you a financial proposal and if you agree you can move here and start in January”.

There are economic interests (50% of exports are located on the west coast) and social interests behind the design of this major projectI know what it means to have the need to live close to health services, having had major allergic problems”, continues Minoretti. “Every time I arrive in a new place I ask where the closest hospital is. In some places along the Norwegian coast I have been told that it took up to three hours by car (sometimes you need the helicopter).I am convinced that the E39 project is also a social project. Just think of those living outside of the main cities in Norway; reaching their workplaces, schools, hospitals can be complicated – the most important infrastructure to which people should have access. 

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