145 metres above the Rombaks fjord

Scaffolding surrounds almost the entire Hålogalands Bridge outside Narvik. Construction workers are moving seamlessly between the scaffolding, different levels of floors next to the hanging bridge 40 metres above the Rombaks fjord. The highest point is a platform 145 metres above the fjord.

   - It is a difficult and somewhat risky project, says Dick Norbäck, 47. The height is a problem because it is always very windy so high up.

He is supervisor at scaffoldings sites but also a scaffolding builder himself. Although he lives in Sweden, it is mainly in Norway and during the summer that he works. Usually at major construction projects that have drawn vast attention.

   - I was part of the team who worked on the Öresund Bridge and the Turning Torso. They were both two very “cool” constructions. The ground load determines how high we can build. The Turning Torso made 127 metres. It is fun to see important buildings and bridges emerging. Then you can look at them when they are finished and at least feel a little bit involved. A little proud.

Dick says that to outsiders many think scaffolding seems to be straightforward and easy to build, but the reality is the opposite.

   - Sure, we build it up, then we tear it down and it is the same every time in a way. Nonetheless, it is so very different from one time to another. No building is like the other. No houses or bridges are exactly the same, he continues:

   - You have to think and be sharp all the time in order to get things right. There are very many challenges and risks to consider. When we, for example, are part of bridge construction, huge weights ends up on the racks. Many people are moving up and down every day and we have to think of our safety at all times. It is important that nothing goes wrong.


Name: Dick Norbäck.
Age: 47.
City: Skene.
Occupation: Scaffolding builder.