New action program for the Hallndsås ridge tunnel

10/8/1997 12:00 AM CET
Press release

A new, future-oriented action program for the Hallandsås tunnel project was presented today by the National Rail Administration and Skanska at a press conference in Malmö.



A new, future-oriented action program for the Hallandsås tunnel project was presented today by the National Rail Administration and Skanska at a press conference in Malmö.

In a joint declaration, Bo Bylund, Director-General of the National Rail Administration, and Claes Björk, President of Skanska, expressed their regret regarding the situation which has arisen and the concern felt by people living in the Hallandsås area about operations employing Rhoca-Gil grouting materials.

"We will do everything in our power to prevent an additional negative impact on the environment, we will undertake the clean-up action required and, if possible, we will eliminate any harmful effects on the environment."

"We note that there may be justification for criticism of the risk analyses conducted before Rhoca-Gil was employed, and during its utilization. With the benefit of hindsight, it appears highly probable that this product may have been used incorrectly."

Bo Bylund and Claes Björk went on to express their faith in the project:

"Despite the problems, we consider it is vital that we comply with the decision taken by the Government and Parliament concerning a new, modern rail link between Malmö and Gothenburg. This calls for a tunnel through the Hallandsås ridge. The total investment for the entire line is approximately SEK 10 billion. This will provide efficient goods services, high-speed trains and a significant increase in the capacity of this section of the link. Future tunneling operations will be conducted in an environmentally correct manner."

The action program comprises the following ten points:

1. All blasting operations are suspended as from October 6, 1997.
2. A scientific sampling program is being drawn up to analyze the environmental impact of Rhoca-Gil grouting materials.
3. A clean-up program is being developed which will eliminate the risks already incurred as a result of the use of Rhoca-Gil as far as possible. The obvious measures will be implemented without delay. A risk analysis of the clean-up requirements is being undertaken, in consultation with the Municipality of Båstad and the Skåne County Administrative Board. The necessary measures will be taken. Documentation concerning the reasons for using Rhoca-Gil and full details concerning the handling of this product will be submitted to the relevant authorities in order to ensure impartial risk analysis and to facilitate possible inquiries regarding liability.
4. Skanska will be talking to all the employees concerned to find out whether they were exposed to risks when working with Rhoca-Gil. An occupational medical control program is being drawn up, and all personnel at the site will be medically examined.
5. With the assistance of the Labor Inspectorate, Skanska will be reviewing the functioning of internal working environment routines and will ensure compliance with the internal controls stipulated by the National Board of Occupational Safety and Health and with other regulations in the working environment sphere.
6. The National Rail Administration and Skanska are appointing new project managers, entrusted with the task of guaranteeing the competence and efficiency of the project organization in the future. As far as Skanska is concerned. this means that the work-site organizational structure at Hallandsås will be strengthened by appointing Department Manager Jan Stattin to be in charge of the project. Jan Stattin will report directly to Jan-Gunnar Glave, who is Senior Vice President of the Civil Engineering business area.
7. The National Rail Administration will appoint an external consultant who will be assigned to ensure that work on the tunnel is conducted in accordance with the relevant environmental requirements.
8. The "Bergsrådet" reference group will be dissolved. A new group is being formed, chaired by Nil-Erik Bergström, the National Rail Administration's Technical Director. In addition, the new group will include up to four independent experts. The Skåne County Administrative Board is invited to nominate one of these experts.
9. Tunneling using conventional methods will be resumed when operations can be conducted without risk to the internal and external environment. Alternative ways of coping with sections of the tunnel where there is extensive seepage will be analyzed with the assistance of Swedish and foreign consultants. One alternative which will receive particular attention will be lining the tunnel with concrete, to the extent this is necessary. The Municipality of Båstad will be consulted and informed before any new method is employed and, where appropriate, this will also apply to other public authorities concerned.
10. Information will be provided jointly by the National Rail Authority and Skanska on an ongoing basis, primarily in connection with the information meetings arranged by the Municipality of Båstad.


Danderyd, October 8, 1997


Group Public Affairs