Remote Avalanche Control System for public road in Norway

Securing County Road 53 Tyin - Årdal by avalanche towers


Project: Securing County Road 53 Tyin - Årdal by avalanche towers
Place: Tyin, Oppland County
Country: Norway
Year: 2016
Customer: Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA)
Protected Objects: Road
Installed systems: - 14x Wyssen Avalanche Towers LS12-5
- 1x Weather Station
- WAC.3®

Initial Situation

The county road 53 Tyin – Årdal, is in Oppland county on the border to Sogn & Fjordane in Norway. It’s an important road for the inner parts of the Sogn region and especially the local community Årdal. A large part of the road is located above tree line, which makes it very exposed to winter storms and avalanche hazard:

Avalanche Control in Norway

In Norway, avalanche protection has traditionally been carried out with permanent measures such as tunnels, dams, snow sheds or snow fences. These measures are very effective, but the investment and running costs are often very high and the environmental impact is considerable.

Testing Wyssen Avalanche Tower at Road 53 Tyin - Årdal

In 2010 the Norwegian Public Road Administration (NPRA) decided to test a Remote Avalanche Control System (RACS) at the county road 53 Tyin – Årdal in Oppland County. A Wyssen Avalanche Tower was installed in one of the many avalanche paths threatening the road to test out whether the system would perform in tough Norwegian winter conditions with strong winds, low temperatures and almost no daylight during the winter months. The two year test-project was very successfull.
Based on this the NPRA and Oppland county decided to install RACS at all avalanche paths along the road to mitigate the avalanche hazard along the road. The project was announced January 2016 and several suppliers delivered offers.

Our solution

In April 2016 the NPRA awarded Wyssen with the contract of supplying, install and maintain 14 RACS for Road 53 Tyin – Årdal. The award criterias set by NPRA in the public tender was 70% price and 30% quality. The offer from Wyssen had the highest score on both criterieas. During the first planning phase of the project, NRPA had to take into account that they did not know which system what would be installed when they decided the positions to install the RACS. Due to the large area affected by the Wyssen Avalanche Tower, some RACS locations could be moved to cover one extra release area that was not in the original plans. All towers were installed during the fall of 2016, and all systems were operational ahead of schedule before the 2016/2017 winter. During the first two operational seasons, close to 200 avalanches has been released by the system and the risk for all users of the road has been significantly reduced. NPRA considers the project to be a great success and is considdering the low investment and the achieved result.


A Project of:

Wyssen Norge AS

Fosshaugane Campus, Trolladalen 30
6856 Sogndal
Tel.: +47 971 235 82

Stian Langeland
Tel. + 47 971 235 82