UK, September 5, 2018.- The Storting has a long-term goal to develop the E39 as an improved and continuous Coastal Highway Route between Kristiansand and Trondheim. This was confirmed by the Storting in June 2017 during the presentation and discussion of the National Transport Plan (NTP) for 2018–2029.
The route runs from Kristiansand in the south to Trondheim in the north, and is approximately 1100 km long. The route runs through six counties, and the cities of Stavanger, Bergen, Ålesund and Molde. Travel time today is around 21 hours, and road users need to use seven different ferry connections. The aim is to create an improved E39 without ferries, which will reduce travel time by half. The route will be almost 50 kilometres shorter. The reduction in travel time will be achieved by replacing ferries with bridges and tunnels, in addition to upgrading a number of road sections on land. Preliminary estimates show that the required investments and improvements will cost approximately NOK 340 billion.
We have established a separate project whose task is to ensure that the improved Coastal Highway Route E39 will have positive impacts on businesses and industries, as well as on their associated residential and labour markets.
The project is to help us find technological solutions that will make the fiord crossings possible. Safety aspects are also studied, in the planning phase as well as during construction and use. The project will study environmental aspects of construction, operation and maintenance, and how the constructions involved may be used to produce their own energy and possibly also contribute to charging electric vehicles along the road. Moreover the project will contribute to the use of contract types that make implementation effective and exploit available competences.
NTP 2018-2029 presents a series of investments for the coming years. Rogfast will be the first ferry replacement project, and the work started already in December 2017. With its 26.7 kilometres, Rogfast will be the world’s longest subsea road tunnel, and also the deepest (392 metres). The project has a cost limit of NOK 16.8 billion, and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2025/2026.
A steering committee has been established, chaired by the Director-General of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The committee also includes the Regional Road Directors of the NPRA Western, Southern and Central Regions, the Heads of Department of the Traffic Safety, Environment and Technology Department and the Road and Transport Department, the Head of the Director General’s Staff and one more of the Director General’s Staff in the Directorate of Public Roads. The planning and building of the projects along the E39 is managed by the relevant regions.