You will cross Hadsel fjord with the Coastal Steamer. You can admire the rugged mountainous landscape jutting up on the horizon. You travel between coral reefs, sunken rocks, skerries and shallow sand bars into the Raftsund Strait, which opens before us - a contrast of green grassy hillsides and jagged mountain peaks. Steep escarpments in the distance and a sparkling, murky green ocean.
The west side of Raftsundet is a mountain range called the Raftsundet Alps, and strech up to 1200 meters above sea level. The Trollfjord slices right into these mountains. On the east side there are lower mountains and moorland particularly appropriate for hiking trips, ans suitable for children as well as grown-ups. Along the Raftsundet, the fishing is good, both from land and from boats.
We pass Svartsund and begin to negotiate the narrow entrance to Trollfjord, where mountain walls rise directly out of the sea. Inside the fjord, the boat will be able to idle so close to the mountain walls that you may literally reach out and touch them.
If this trip is made at night between the end of May and middle of July, you will be able to see the midnight sun. During the summer season, both the northbound and southbound Coastal Express ships pay a visit to the Trollfjord.
The Raftsundet Bridge with a main span of 298m and a total length of 711m, was the longest concrete cantilevered span in the world when the cantilevers were joined at June 24th 1998. The bridge was opened for traffic at November the 6th the same year. The structure is exposed to a severe wind climate with a design gust wind speed of almost 60 m/s. The surrounding alpine topography with high mountains raising up to 1000m above sea level, creates fluctuating wind forces of large magnitude on the bridge.
The dynamic wind climate severely affects the slender columns and the bridge beam. The main span is constructed in high strength lightweight aggregate (LWA) concrete LC60 and the side spans and piers in normal density (ND) concrete C65. The bridge is high level, providing a ship channel of 45 x 180 metres.
Raftsundet Bridge is a part of the ferry free mainland connection for the Lofoten islands.