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West Link Project staff - Meet Olof Kallin

After just over 40 years in the industry, I still have a great passion for discovery! I'm driven by not knowing what is on "the other side".

What is your background, and how did you come to be involved in the West Link Project?

From Laisvall to the West Link, via Oskarshamn, Strömsnäsbruk, Portugal, Jersey and Trollhättan. Olof Kallin has been building mines and road and rail tunnels since 1973. Olof is now a construction manager, but worked hands-on with the blasting of rock tunnels and has held the role of site manager at various contractors up until the year 2000.

One of my first assignments as a construction manager in the 2000s was the Southern Link in Stockholm. It was when I was working on the construction of Nygård in Trollhättan and later Kattleberg in Älvängen that I first heard about the West Link Project.

What does your role in the West Link Project involve?

I am the Coordinating Construction Manager for rock and excavation in the West Link Project. During the construction phase, we will have between 8 and 10 construction managers in the Haga and Korsvägen stages, with my role being to keep the group together and supervise work in the Haga section. Always being available to conduct site visits and checking that the work is being undertaken in accordance with the control and contract documents.

What is the biggest challenge of the West Link Project from your perspective?

The biggest challenge is the transitions between clay and rock, two very different materials that "behave" differently. Grouting is the most important aspect; the rock has to be made sufficiently watertight to prevent any impact on the groundwater and thus the clay.

How will you meet that challenge?

Check, check and double check! We have to keep an eye on the groundwater, the rock, subsidence and much more. As construction is taking place in an urban environment, there will be a major focus on checks and monitoring of data that are received from various measurements.

And as I said before, grouting is the most important aspect! This has to be done correctly and we must have good quality cement that is used to fill cracks in the rock.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

After just over 40 years in the industry, I still have a great passion for discovery! I'm driven by not knowing what is on "the other side". Each time you blast into rock, you come to a place where no-one has ever been before, which is a real privilege.

What do you do to relax?

In 1993, my wife and I saw a TV programme about alpacas and we were instantly drawn to the animal! Sure, it was a large financial investment, but it was a dream that became reality when we bought our first five animals at the beginning of the 2000s. We aren't buying any more animals or breeding them any more, but our alpacas still live with us on the farm.

As I commute weekly between Sundsvall and Gothenburg, much of my free time at home is spent with my family and putting the farm in order before the week ahead.

Do you talk a lot about the West Link in your time off?

No, not particularly because I do not live here in Gothenburg.