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Old September 21st, 2008, 10:17 PM   #381
54°26′S 3°24′E
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
If such a growth were to happen, quite a bit of it will have to come from immigration and higher birth rates in this part of the population. And they live in towns and cities, and the majority in and around Oslo.
Did you read my post at all? The split up in population between the regions have been quite stable for a very long time, and there is no reason, or indication in the current trends, that this is about to change.

To add to this post regarding your comment that "the majority" will move to Oslo: We had a population increase of 56 000 last year, only about 22 000 of the increase was in Oslo/Akershus. Interestingly, there was almost no net domestic immigration in Oslo, in this regard the city was far behind some other municipalies in Norway.

Probably, the average growth will be somewhat lower than the trend we are seeing today, in which all historic and international experience indicates even less centralization.

Finally, centralization is dependent on public policies, like infrastructure. With enhanced infrastructure, the centralization also will be smaller.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
"Most countries" is rather overstated, I'd say.
To be correct, I should probably say most (or almost all) other developed countries. Several developing countries also have impressive road networks, though.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
And the problem is that our financial muscle hasn't been translated into much in terms of roads/proper railroads this far, and even though I believe that some improvements will be made, I don't see a massive motorway network anytime soon.
You are right about the past, unfortunately, but if you have at all paid attention to the public debate, lately, with the leading economics, labor unions, the industry and the leaders of almost all political parties in Norway, at least I am far more optimistic than I used to be.
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
I'm not pretending to be an expert on this, but as far as I understand the Vegvesen's figures, the cost per metre of road corresponds fairly precisely to the road profile. This makes sense to me, both because the cost of land and the work involved increases similarly. An increase from 14.5 to 20 m means approx 35% extra width.
No, the cost does not scale proportionally to the width of the road except in, for Norway, very restricted cases. There are many reasons for this:
1. Norwegian roads are usually elevated somewhat from the ground since they need a quite thick bed of crushed rock in order to avoid problems with freezing and thawing water: Hence several meters of roll-off is needed on both sides for safety reasons, and the width of the road is not proportional to the width of asfalt+barrier.
2. The same is true whenever the road for some reason (usually curvature issues) has to go below the normal ground level.
3. The cost of safety features like crash barriers, signs and partly illumination is usually independent of asphalt width.
4. The largest cost when constructing elements like over and underpasses, bridges, road cuts etc. etc., elements which often are very important for the total cost of the road, is usually to get the right equipment and expertice in place, and within reasonably limits not very dependent on road width.
5. Planning costs is usually also independent of width
6. On most of the stretches I believe 19 m could be an alternative to the broader motorway width, land costs will be close to zero as the roads go through desolate areas.
7. On many places in Norway, the road will go along slopes. With 2+2 it can be possible to separate the two directions, having them on different levels. With a 2+1 road, the whole 14.5 m width probably has to be on the same level, increasing leveling costs.

Hence, I believe that the cost difference would be far less than the 31 % difference the asphalt+barrier width proportion between 14.5 and 19 m indicates. Indeed, in the only published cost difference I could find between 1+2 and 4 lanes in Norway, E6 in Gudbrandsdalen, the difference were a couple of hundred million of a total budget of 5 billion, i.e. roughly 5 %. Just as for most news articles, this one was rather unaccurate when it comes to defining what the two alternatives actually mean, however.

Last edited by 54°26′S 3°24′E; September 21st, 2008 at 10:22 PM.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 09:27 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
Did you read my post at all? The split up in population between the regions have been quite stable for a very long time, and there is no reason, or indication in the current trends, that this is about to change.

To add to this post regarding your comment that "the majority" will move to Oslo: We had a population increase of 56 000 last year, only about 22 000 of the increase was in Oslo/Akershus. Interestingly, there was almost no net domestic immigration in Oslo, in this regard the city was far behind some other municipalies in Norway.
Yes, I read it. Doesn't mean I buy what you're writing outright. And the figures you present here sort of proves my point: about 40% of the increase happened in two counties with 17-18% of the country's total population. Add to this the increase taking place in the urban centres of Vestfold and Østfold plus the Drammen area, not all that much is left for the rest of the country. But I think we'll leave this here...

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
To be correct, I should probably say most (or almost all) other developed countries.
If you include those with toll networks planned and in construction, I agree. My main point is that very few countries have developed publicly funded networks in a short period of time. Also, the networks are, with a few exceptions, built in rather more densely populated areas.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
You are right about the past, unfortunately, but if you have at all paid attention to the public debate, lately, with the leading economics, labor unions, the industry and the leaders of almost all political parties in Norway, at least I am far more optimistic than I used to be.
Well, since all Norwegian politics basically are local politics, expect most of the promised increases to vanish into thin air as we face another tedious tug-of-war for funds between rail and road, city and country, north and south, east and west... And in a few years, another issue eclipses the infrastructure one as politicians' main priority.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
No, the cost does not scale proportionally to the width of the road except in, for Norway, very restricted cases. There are many reasons for this:
1. Norwegian roads are usually elevated somewhat from the ground since they need a quite thick bed of crushed rock in order to avoid problems with freezing and thawing water: Hence several meters of roll-off is needed on both sides for safety reasons, and the width of the road is not proportional to the width of asfalt+barrier.
2. The same is true whenever the road for some reason (usually curvature issues) has to go below the normal ground level.
3. The cost of safety features like crash barriers, signs and partly illumination is usually independent of asphalt width.
4. The largest cost when constructing elements like over and underpasses, bridges, road cuts etc. etc., elements which often are very important for the total cost of the road, is usually to get the right equipment and expertice in place, and within reasonably limits not very dependent on road width.
5. Planning costs is usually also independent of width
6. On most of the stretches I believe 19 m could be an alternative to the broader motorway width, land costs will be close to zero as the roads go through desolate areas.
7. On many places in Norway, the road will go along slopes. With 2+2 it can be possible to separate the two directions, having them on different levels. With a 2+1 road, the whole 14.5 m width probably has to be on the same level, increasing leveling costs.

Hence, I believe that the cost difference would be far less than the 31 % difference the asphalt+barrier width proportion between 14.5 and 19 m indicates. Indeed, in the only published cost difference I could find between 1+2 and 4 lanes in Norway, E6 in Gudbrandsdalen, the difference were a couple of hundred million of a total budget of 5 billion, i.e. roughly 5 %. Just as for most news articles, this one was rather unaccurate when it comes to defining what the two alternatives actually mean, however.
Again, I'm no expert, but this isn't what the Vegvesen said, at least a few years ago. I'll see if I can find the source.

I'll also present a few more route descriptions, both the E134 and the much-debated rv 3 is coming up. I'll also see if I can find a few pictures/links from each route.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #383
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Yes, I read it. Doesn't mean I buy what you're writing outright. And the figures you present here sort of proves my point: about 40% of the increase happened in two counties with 17-18% of the country's total population. Add to this the increase taking place in the urban centres of Vestfold and Østfold plus the Drammen area, not all that much is left for the rest of the country. But I think we'll leave this here...
Well, why don't we go back once more to your original claims:

"Almost every single one will settle in or around the Greater Oslo area"

Later you moderated yourself to saying that the majority will settle in the Oslo area.

Well, 22/56*100=39 % is far from being even a majority. If you add Buskerud and Østfold, all of which is outside the Oslo urban area, and most of which is outside the Oslo labor-market, you still do not get above 50 %. Not even by the widest definition Vestfold can be considered as a part of the Oslo-area, and Vestfold btw has a growth below the national average. I did and do not deny, however, that the majority of the growth (57%) of the whole of Norway now is in the larger south-eastern part of the country (Østfold,Akershus, Hedmark, Oppland, Oslo, Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark), which is why this region in a few decades probably will pass the 50 % mark of the whole population. My point is that the remaining 43 % of the increase last year, or 24 000 people, was along the coast of southern Norway up to and including the Trondheim-fjord.

My numbers are from official numbers from the SSB, all I have done is to extrapolate the current growth of the different regions into the future. SSBs own forecast (mean curve) shows a little bit less growth, and less centralization, including a healthy growth of Northern Norway. Whatever model you choose, both South-Eastern Norway and coastal Norway from far southern Norway to Trøndelag will have high population growth, and consequently also the need for transport between the regions will increase sharply. In either scenarios, the relative share of the the two regions will be a little more than 50 % for south-eastern Norway and a little more than 40 % for the coastal southern/central Norway at least until 2050.

Feel free to do your own interpretation of the facts, but do keep to the facts.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
If you include those with toll networks planned and in construction, I agree. My main point is that very few countries have developed publicly funded networks in a short period of time. Also, the networks are, with a few exceptions, built in rather more densely populated areas.
There are quite a few example of rapid developments of transit networks have happened once the need is identified. Spain, USA, and Germany all more or less completed very impressive motorway networks in a 10-20 years span. Poland, Ireland, Greece and China seem to attempt the same today. And none of these countries had or have the economic wealth of Norway, and in the case of Germany and USA, they did not even have the traffic. Sweden, and partly Denmark, has used more time, but that only means we have more to catch up.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
Well, since all Norwegian politics basically are local politics, expect most of the promised increases to vanish into thin air as we face another tedious tug-of-war for funds between rail and road, city and country, north and south, east and west... And in a few years, another issue eclipses the infrastructure one as politicians' main priority.
That is exactly why I call for a national plan, which local politics cannot stop as easily. The three largest parties of Norway now all call for greater independence for the road authorities, with more long-term funding. You may be right in your pessimistic analysis, of course, but that should not stop us fighting for a change.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
Again, I'm no expert, but this isn't what the Vegvesen said, at least a few years ago. I'll see if I can find the source.
Another example from the top of my head was the harbor tunnel in Trondheim. It was said that a doubling of the road width would cost less than 25 % more.
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
I'll also present a few more route descriptions, both the E134 and the much-debated rv 3 is coming up. I'll also see if I can find a few pictures/links from each route.
I am looking forward to it

Last edited by 54°26′S 3°24′E; September 24th, 2008 at 10:12 PM.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #384
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Well, why don't we go back once more to your original claims:

"Almost every single one will settle in or around the Greater Oslo area"

Later you moderated yourself to saying that the majority will settle in the Oslo area.
My actual claim was: "Almost every single one will settle in or around the Greater Oslo area, the remainder will settle in other urban areas like Stavanger/Sandnes, Bergen and Trondheim." Which I stick by. I also stick by the fact that more than 1.5 million people live within an hour's drive from Oslo.

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Feel free to do your own interpretation of the facts, but do keep to the facts.
These are facts, your facts, in fact. 39% of the population growth to an area with 18% of the population...

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
Spain, USA, and Germany all more or less completed very impressive motorway networks in a 10-20 years span.
I said currently. The US and German ones are rather old, the Spanish was mainly EU funded.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
Poland, Ireland, Greece and China seem to attempt the same today.
The Polish and Greek networks are toll roads built (to a large extent, at least) by private contractors, China at least has a few toll roads (don't know too much about their infrastructure policies...) and I thought the Irish roads were tolled as well (might be wrong, though).
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #385
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Nearly all Chinese expressways are toll roads.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #386
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
My actual claim was: "Almost every single one will settle in or around the Greater Oslo area, the remainder will settle in other urban areas like Stavanger/Sandnes, Bergen and Trondheim." Which I stick by. I also stick by the fact that more than 1.5 million people live within an hour's drive from Oslo.


These are facts, your facts, in fact. 39% of the population growth to an area with 18% of the population...
The point is that the fact you boasting:

"39% of the population growth to an area with 18%". (it should be 39 % to an area with 23 %, BTW)

is not even remotely supporting your claim:

"Almost every single one will settle in or around the Greater Oslo area" (I do not object as strongly to the second part, although also the most rural counties are growing at the time, and will continue to grow according to SSB)

Your claim certainly is not true today, 39 % is not even a majority, and it won't be true in the future, even in a 40+ years perspective. By assuming that all counties will have the same relative growth in the next 40 years as in 2007, Oslo plus Akershus will get 1.08*(1+0.021/1.08)^42-1.08=1.377 M new citizens by 2050. However, Norway will in total get 3.027 M new citizens. I.e., Oslo+Akershus will receive approximately 45 % of the population growth in Norway until 2050, which is a very far cry from "Almost every single one". As already mentioned, the SSBs official mean prediction shows an even smaller share of the growth to Oslo/Akershus.

As pointed out repeatedly now, my point is that by extending the 2007 numbers to 2050, coastal Norway (excl. the Oslo-fjord area) will get 1.322 M new citizens, or 44 % of the growth, and that this will increase the need for transit traffic greatly in the decades ahead. It should not be very difficult to accept.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
I said currently. The US and German ones are rather old, the Spanish was mainly EU funded.
You did not say currently. It is true that the Spanish network was partly EU funded, but most Spaniards I have spoken to denies that EU was or is the major source of funds. In any case, for Norway, the funding is not really the issue.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
The Polish and Greek networks are toll roads built (to a large extent, at least) by private contractors, China at least has a few toll roads (don't know too much about their infrastructure policies...) and I thought the Irish roads were tolled as well (might be wrong, though).
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Nearly all Chinese expressways are toll roads.
Sorry, I actually did not notice the "public funded part" in my haste to finish off and do something more productive. However, I do not think this is an important point. In any case, at least the European countries in question, Poland, Greece, and Ireland only have the tolls as supplementary funding. From what I have been able to gather, public funds are responsible for paying approximately 2/3rds of the motorway development in these countries. For instance, public money pay for 69 % of the Egnatia motorway of Greece, in Ireland only 8 out of 26 billion Euro in the current transport21 program will come from PPP (project financing) . If we had similar funding, we could do a lot also in our country.

It should further be noted, that none of the mentioned have a level of taxation of car use and ownership close to what Norway has, currently more than 55 billion NOK per year. This is 22 000 NOK per car per year, or 2 700 Euro. This is in sharp contrast to particularly China. True, all the motorways, and many other roads, are tolled, but otherwise car use is in fact sponsored, with for instance subsidized car use.

As will be further elaborated above, I do not think toll financing is a good idea. However, let's assume that 2/3rds of the road will be public financed as in the European cases discussed above, and apply it for for instance the much debated Østerdalen stretch. If the cost will be 50 000 kr/km, a third of the cost will be 4.8 billion NOK. 5 % interest per year would then correspond to 660 000 kr/day in tolls. Even Elvis77 seem to agree that an AADT of 4000 is realistic for this 290 km of road, with some sections having higher traffic. Pesonally I believe the traffic potential is much higher, at least 7000 in only a 10-year perspecive if the road is upgraded, partly by traffic transfer from the Trondheim-Oslo air-route, which currently is the 6th busiest in Europe. However, let's assume 4000 for now. With a flat rate this means a toll of 165 NOK per car, if for instance the approximately 700 future trucks pay double, the rate will be 140 NOK, or 0.48 NOK/km, or 0.06 Euro/km. Of course, you have to add a bit for toll stations and down-payment of the road. Anyway, I think most people would pay such a sum rather than being delayed with an hour or more for an alternative road.

In addition, many of the proposed roads will have significantly higher traffic than the Østerdalen road, and by introducing a flat per km rate for all motorways like some other countries have, there can be some cross-financing between high-trafficated and low-trafficated roads. This is a principle that is already used in Norway when it comes to gasoline-pricing and paying for the airport-infrastructure.


In any case, I think toll is a stupid way of financing roads, because:
1. This is an expensive, and unsocial, method of taxation
2. It makes people search for alternative, often less efficient and environmental friendly routes, and hence undermine the original purpose of a highway development.
3. Toll financing to some degree relieves the government for the responsibility, but also the control, of the infrastructure development of the country.

Leaving infrastructure investment to the market often leads to solutions that in the long run probably are not the most efficient or sustainable. Again, this is indeed what seems to happen in extreme cases such as in China.

If the goal is to reduce emissions, it would be better to increase the cost of fuel, ideally with a fixed sum dedicated to infrastructure development. However, in order to have the desired effect, the same tax also needs to be introduced for air-travel, high-speed ferries and train transport with diesel engines. However, experience show that the tax have to be increased a lot in order to have any effect on car use in Norway. Like toll roads, a higher fuel tax is also highly unsocial, and will hit the ones that in practice have no alternative to the road, people and companies in rural areas. the hardest.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:41 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
The point is that the fact you boasting:

"39% of the population growth to an area with 18%". (it should be 39 % to an area with 23 %, BTW)

is not even remotely supporting your claim:

"Almost every single one will settle in or around the Greater Oslo area" (I do not object as strongly to the second part, although also the most rural counties are growing at the time, and will continue to grow according to SSB)

Your claim certainly is not true today, 39 % is not even a majority, and it won't be true in the future, even in a 40+ years perspective. By assuming that all counties will have the same relative growth in the next 40 years as in 2007, Oslo plus Akershus will get 1.08*(1+0.021/1.08)^42-1.08=1.377 M new citizens by 2050. However, Norway will in total get 3.027 M new citizens. I.e., Oslo+Akershus will receive approximately 45 % of the population growth in Norway until 2050, which is a very far cry from "Almost every single one". As already mentioned, the SSBs official mean prediction shows an even smaller share of the growth to Oslo/Akershus.
Sorry, I couldn't be bothered to check the actual statistics and, thus, didn't realise that Akershus already was at 500 000+. So 23% it is. Because of urbanisation and people moving to the inner part of Eastern Norway, btw... Still, my point is that "in and around the Greater Oslo Area" means an area with 1.5+ million. Whereas your 39% is just Oslo+Akershus (1.08 mill). My claim still stands, even though it started out basically as rhetoric, not science. The SSB's front page - official national statistics - is rather conclusive: http://www.ssb.no/befolkning/ (unfortunately only in Norwegian here, but you get the PICTURE ). Furthermore, they confirm my urbanisation claim here: http://www.ssb.no/emner/02/01/10/beftett/ (also Norwegian, probably possible to find an English version for those really interested...). Nonetheless, not all that interesting, and I'll leave it here....

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Sorry, I actually did not notice the "public funded part" in my haste to finish off and do something more productive. However, I do not think this is an important point.
Fair enough, but since this is MY basic point (and imho, a very good one) about when, where and how motorway networks happen today, it's worth paying attention to... Sooo... The Chinese motorways are tolled, as are much of the French, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Romanian and even a considerable amount of the US ones. Plus many others. A few other countries have a specific motorway tax. In fact, the countries whose massive motorway networks were government funded (the UK, the US, Germany...) completed the vast majority of their main arteries decades ago. Currently, even the Germans look to road taxation.

Still, the current economic crisis might just change a bit of this, at least. Keynes will make a comeback, and that might just influence infrastructure as well. Even in Norway. However, even this will not lead to 2000+ kms of motorway up here, simply because cheaper alternatives are more than adequate. A proper 2-lane highway reaches capacity at AADT 15000-20000, and the far safer 1+1/2+1 version has an even higher limit. Most of the network you suggest won't reach those figures in 30 years, even if the more extreme prognoses come to be. And I truly believe that people who propose unrealistic motorway schemes contribute to slowing down the planning and construction of a reasonable and way more realistic highway/motorway system. Which we need. Desperately.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:47 AM   #388
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And for those of you truly interested in Norwegian population statistics, click the "English" icon top right...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:59 AM   #389
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click the "English" icon top right...
Unless you understand Norwegian of course...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 03:30 PM   #390
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Unless you understand Norwegian of course...
Of course
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Old October 1st, 2008, 04:23 PM   #391
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E134 - first all-year east-west link

Before I get started, I must admit that it's been a long while since I drove this road, particurarly the westernmost bit. However, not that much has happened in 10 or 15 years, so I guess I'm still a qualified tour guide scribbler.. But if one or two of you Norwegians out there find mistakes, feel free to correct them.

Buskerud:

The E134 is an all-Norwegian European route, and its eastern starting point is Drammen, a good 40 kms west of Oslo. The first 55 kms is in Buskerud county, which nature-wise (at least here) isn't that special. The first 20 kms runs just outside Drammen and its suburbs, then it crosses fields and lower hills to Kongsberg and onto the border with Telemark. Almost all the way to Kongsberg, it's a relatively new and decent 2-lane road. Then it narrows and runs through the town, and continues as a not-so-decent 2-laner on the other side. Speed limits between 50 and 80. Plans include a 2- or 4-lane bypass of Kongsberg, further into the future we might see the Drammen-Kongsberg road dualled into a motorway.

Telemark:

Now, towards the mountains. Close to 200 kms in Telemark, and the landscape varies from hills and valleys with settlements, villages and towns, then more serious montains and eventually the Haukeli plateau. All in all, a truly interesting driving experience... That is, if you're not fed up by the questionable road quality. Mainly 2-lane highway, but with narrower sections and plenty of tight corners and steep hills. A few minor improvements have been made, but nothing substantial. 50-80 limit here as well. There are several plans: Shortening of the Notodden-Seljord road by a 10+ km tunnel is the most obvious. Also, improvement of sections, some want a new Notodden-Kongsberg road, but the most important is the new mountain crossing (I'll get back to this...)

Hordaland:

The 100+ kms in Hordaland are truly spectacular, and even more so if you have the time to avoid the old, narrow and dark tunnels at Haukeli and Røldal plateaus and instead take the old road. But even going through the tunnels, there is plenty to experience: Mountains, fjords, ravines, waterfalls... The road has been upgraded in parts, mainly through tunnel construction, but that takes some of the excitement out of the drive. Now, most of the road is some form of 2-lane highway, but you'll still get plenty of hairpin bends and long, steep hills. Particularly at Røldal. Quite a few tunnels as well, the old 60s tunnels (which made wintertime crossing possible back in the day) are overdue for replacement, but there are also a couple of brand new ones. Limit is still 50 to 80, I believe. The most important plan is, of course, the new Haukeli/Røldal crossing. A brand new alignment will remove the old tunnels and the hairpins. Still, it will remain a high-mountain road with long tunnels.

Rogaland:
The remaining 50+ kms is in Rogaland, and it runs along fjords and through villages and towns. A busier section this, but not quality road anyway. A pleasant drive, but not truly spectacular nature. The road is mainly everyday 2-laner, with narrow spots. The final 15 kms to Haugesund is better 2-laner, but busy. Limit 40-80 kph. Here, too, there are plans. The last bit (10-25 kms, depending on who you are to believe, will eventually become motorway, a few other sections are already approved as 2+1 expressway.

This road's main problem is that noone can really decide what it's for. True, it's part of the shortest Oslo-Bergen link, but it's also part of the shortest Oslo-Stavanger link. If one were to go for it as the former, it would have to make a detour to the north at Røldal, whereas the latter would require some form of southern-bound derailment. Even though some people are promoting particularly the Bergen link, it doesn't look likely to happen. There's too much politics involved, at least six counties are fighting over who gets what in terms of east-west road (and possibly rail) links. The end result? The E134, at least, gets very little...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 04:57 PM   #392
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Rv 3 - Oslo-Trondheim in the shortest possible time...

If there's one thing those of us arguing the past weeks and months actually agree on, it is that the rv 3 is part of the shortest Oslo-Trondheim link (or actually, it isn't: the county+national road 30 Rena-Tynset through Rendalen is normally a few minutes faster as there is virtually no traffic, but it's impractical for anyone without local knowledge...). So, the 3. What's my beef with this road, since I - at least according to some - slag it off all the time..? In truth, none, really:

Hedmark:

The vast majority of its 290 km is in Hedmark county. The first 30 kms runs across low hills and through some of the best agricultural lands in Norway, then you'll get approx 180 kms in the wide valley along the Glomma river. You'll see an incredible amount of pine trees, a few settlements and - in the northern section - a few mountains. Pleasant enough, but it tends to get rather boring. The climb onto the Kvikne plateau is interesting, as is the plateau itself, but at merely 700 metres above sea level, it's not a true mountain even in Norway. The road starts out as a 2-lane expressway for about 20 kms, the remainder is a decent and mainly straight 2-lane highway. The southern half runs through a few settlements, further north there are virtually no such things before Alvdal and Tynset. About 90 kms used to be 90 kph, but currently, only the expressway maintains that speed limit. Entire section varies from 50 to 90. Plans? A few. Most obvious and going to happen is the 10+ km motorway Løten-Elverum. It is also likely that the 30 kms from there to Rena will become expressway in the not too distant future, but for the remainder, it's anyone's guess. Some want a motorway, I maintain that's highly unlikely. Much more likely is a 8.5-10 m widening of the current road, but there are concerns, since such a road would only be marginally safer than the excisting one, if at all. Widening it into a direction-separated expressway (or Swedish-style "mötesfri landsväg... which I don't like) is a better option, particularly since there is one or more local roads for much of the section already. Nonetheless, apart from a few local improvements and the southern section, it's very much anyone's guess.

Trøndelag:

The final 15 kms is through Trøndelag. Not all that much to see, across a narrow bridge, up a steep hill, through a village, and then you meet the E6 again, about 90 kms south of Trondheim. The road is in serious need of a makeover, apart from the brand new 2 kms at Ulsberg, a completely new alignment is necessary. Speed limit 50-80. Plans? None remotely concrete, but the entire section will eventually be replaced. Best guess by a 10 m highway/expressway, even though I'd like to see a 1+1/2+1.

I hope everyone agrees this is a fair presentation of the current state. And for anyone going to northern parts of Norway, it makes sense to take the 3, either going north or south - unless you possess a quality map and plenty of time, then I'd consider several alternatives. Not as nice as the E6, but still faster. And something else.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 05:16 PM   #393
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I'm still looking for pictures (haven't got that many myself, I'm afraid). Also, I'll provide a few guides for the remaining Norwegian E routes and a few important national roads, quite possibly starting with the tourist route par excellance - the rv 17. But that won't happen today...

On a different note: Norway is currently in the midst of a bureaucratic makeover in terms of road infrastructure. By 2010, only the current trunk routes (E roads and national roads with green numbering) will remain national. The rest of the national roads (with a few exceptions) will, together with former county roads, be the responsibility of the regions. There are a few obvious problems here: 1. National roads have their numbers signposted en route, county roads do not. 2. National roads have a slightly more uniform standard than county roads, for one they're all hard surface. 3. The numbering scheme was sensible once, but the introduction of "green" trunk routes has messed things up already - they're not numbered 1-10/20/25 or anything like that... Now, when county roads also will get numbers, things will get even worse. Since: 4. There are clear indications that the National Road Admniistration feels that clearing up the numbering mess in order to make road numbering reflect the reform they've spent millions on, is a far too expensive exercise. My advice to automotive tourists: Come next summer or, if arriving 2010 and beyond, stick to the E routes. It's not just up to us to change those...

Btw, if anyone gets more information on this, please post it here. The Vegvesen home page is anything but helpful, it seems as if not even they know what will happen...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 05:25 PM   #394
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They wouldn't be as stupid as to remove the road numbers?=P That's just silly....
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Old October 1st, 2008, 05:48 PM   #395
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They wouldn't be as stupid as to remove the road numbers?=P That's just silly....
Afaik, that's not the intention. As stated, my facts are rather sketchy, but it seems to me as though the likely outcome is that the county roads will be included in the excisting numbering scheme. Exactly how they're going to achieve this, I do not know, and if they don't make some changes, it's going to become a rather messy situation.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 06:01 PM   #396
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I hope it doesn't become as messy as in France with their Departement road numbers being implemented on former National roads. (like in: RN 1 becomes RD 1001).
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Old October 1st, 2008, 06:42 PM   #397
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I hope it doesn't become as messy as in France with their Departement road numbers being implemented on former National roads. (like in: RN 1 becomes RD 1001).
I'll get to that in my new thread on the topic! Imo, the French have made a bit of a mess of a system that could have been really clever.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:55 AM   #398
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Sorry, I couldn't be bothered to check the actual statistics and, thus, didn't realise that Akershus already was at 500 000+. So 23% it is. Because of urbanisation and people moving to the inner part of Eastern Norway, btw... Still, my point is that "in and around the Greater Oslo Area" means an area with 1.5+ million. Whereas your 39% is just Oslo+Akershus (1.08 mill). My claim still stands, even though it started out basically as rhetoric, not science. The SSB's front page - official national statistics - is rather conclusive: http://www.ssb.no/befolkning/ (unfortunately only in Norwegian here, but you get the PICTURE ). Furthermore, they confirm my urbanisation claim here: http://www.ssb.no/emner/02/01/10/beftett/ (also Norwegian, probably possible to find an English version for those really interested...). Nonetheless, not all that interesting, and I'll leave it here....
In my world, "almost every single one" is close to 100 %. I keep repeating myself, but you don't seem to get it:
  • You don't reach even 50 % by adding Østfold and Buskerud to Oslo and Akershus.
  • Even in the long term (2050), if the current strong growth continues, these counties will receive only 56 %, which means that 44 %, of the growth will be elswhere. SSB assumes a slightly lower growth rate in their most likely scenario, and believes that in 2030 less than 36 % of the growth will will be in the Oslo area, less than 47 % in Oslo-area + Østfold and Buskerud, but more than 41 % along the coast. This compares with the relative growth shares of 41 % (Oslo-area), 53 % (Oslo-area + Østfold and Buskerud) and 44 % (coastal Norway) if the growth of 2007 is extrapolated to 2030.
  • Dependent on the scenario you choose, there will be between 1 M and 1.3 M more people in coastal Norway in 2050. My point all along is that this will increase interregional traffic, something you for some reason do not want to admit.

I have never argued against that Norway is urbanizing. However, for the interegional traffic, this is not important, as the most marginal of the proposed motorway corridors are going through empty areas anyway, i.e. more or less all traffic is thru traffic. In fact, there are indications that increased urbanization leads to more interregional traffic, since urban dwellers are more mobile, have more spare time which they prefer to spend on the countryside or with relatives in other parts of the country. This is certainly a trend we have seen over the last decade, despite heavy urbanization, the traffic on the main trunk roads have increased the most, whereas the traffic on urban streets have been far less.

I am not terribly interested in rethorics. You don't have to be scientific, but a reasonably backing in facts, at least after they have been presented to you, don't hurt....

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
Fair enough, but since this is MY basic point (and imho, a very good one) about when, where and how motorway networks happen today, it's worth paying attention to... Sooo... The Chinese motorways are tolled, as are much of the French, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Romanian and even a considerable amount of the US ones. Plus many others. A few other countries have a specific motorway tax. In fact, the countries whose massive motorway networks were government funded (the UK, the US, Germany...) completed the vast majority of their main arteries decades ago. Currently, even the Germans look to road taxation.
You insist on partial toll financing, and disregard the fact that the amount Norwegians already pay in indirect road tax would pay down the complete motorway network in four years or so, or that the Norwegian economy, unlike those listed above (with the partial exception of China, where car use is heavily subsidized), is running at a gigantic surplus. OK. However, I showed above that toll financing combined with public money are feasible also for a Norwegian motorway network development. And, most countries with similar geography and level of development (Finland, Sweden, Canada, and mostly USA), have completed their long-distance network without toll, for reasons listed above. And again, the fact that other developed countries got their road network decades ago means that we should hurry even more...
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
Still, the current economic crisis might just change a bit of this, at least. Keynes will make a comeback, and that might just influence infrastructure as well. Even in Norway. However, even this will not lead to 2000+ kms of motorway up here, simply because cheaper alternatives are more than adequate. A proper 2-lane highway reaches capacity at AADT 15000-20000, and the far safer 1+1/2+1 version has an even higher limit. Most of the network you suggest won't reach those figures in 30 years, even if the more extreme prognoses come to be.
What do you mean with capacity? If you mean that the traffic is often delayed below the speed limit, I agree with you that 15000-20000 is the sensible limit. There are almost no roads that run at capacity defined this way in Norway except in urban areas. included the few 2-lane roads that are currently under upgrade to motorway standard. I have never claimed so and that is not the issue. But 1+1/1+2 roads would hardly be an improvement in this capacity.

If the road's capacity should meet up to a reasonable cruising speed of modern cars, around 120, hardly any Norwegian roads have it. Most of them never will or should either, but it would save the nation a lot in transport costs if the major interregional trunk roads are built to such a standard. Time between 65 km/h and 120 km on a typical interregional travelof 400 km is 3 hours and 20 minutes, and the extra delays we currently have in Norway cost us a lot. Also the environment is better off with straighter roads without all the stop and run, curves and hills.

The real issue that a road network in Norway should tackle IMO is that:
  1. Undivided roads are very dangerous above a traffic of a few thousands AADT
  2. In order to get transfer of traffic from the air traffic to ground transport and reduce emissions by a factor 5 or more, speed of travel is important, hence the road should be motorway
  3. Except for some of the third-phase roads, I believe all the motorways in my wish-list have the potential for 7000 AADT or more in a 10 years horizon, and significantly higher later on due to strong population growth. Currently, the traffic growth is much higher than the population growth.
  4. The price difference between a narrow motorway (2+2) and 1+2 roads is in the region of 10 %. What typically has been the case in Norway is to first build a 1+2 and then expand it to a motorway after a decade or two. That is considerably more expensive, and trends in population and traffic growth indicates that higher standards are needed soon anyway.
  5. The economic benefit of a motorway network may be as high as 60 billion NOK/year. There are hardly a better investment the nation can make.

We have been through this several times now, so please see earlier posts in the thread for more details regarding these points.
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
And I truly believe that people who propose unrealistic motorway schemes contribute to slowing down the planning and construction of a reasonable and way more realistic highway/motorway system. Which we need. Desperately.
Well, we have tried your way for more than 40 years now, you can see where that has lead us, compared with for instance Denmark who has had a clear vision for their transport network. Not pointing out that some roads are more important than others, with an ultimate goal of motorway standard, will give the funding politicians continued opportunity to prioritize the road in their own backyard.

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
E134 -Before I get started, I must admit that it's been a long while since I drove this road, particurarly the westernmost bit......
Thanks for the overview. With rather recent experience with most of this road I can confirm that not much has happened. It should be noted, however, that the Jondal tunnel is approved, which will really open up E134 as the most viable Oslo-Bergen alternative. E134 is already the most trafficated East/West route, I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
If there's one thing those of us arguing the past weeks and months actually agree on, it is that the rv 3 is part of the shortest Oslo-Trondheim link (or actually, it isn't: the county+national road 30 Rena-Tynset through Rendalen is normally a few minutes faster as there is virtually no traffic, but it's impractical for anyone without local knowledge...).
This was a fairly unbiased and good overview . I guess I have to try the Rendalen road (rv 30) soon, but since it is slightly longer, and I have feared for the standard, I have not done that so far. In addition, traffic delays are seldom a problem on rv 3, but perhaps it was police traffic you were thinking of.... The current rv 30 used to be the main route a couple of decades ago, actually. Any drivers that tries rv 30 should remember to continue on rv 3 north of Tynset, unless they want the detour to the world heritage listed mining town of Røros (recommended!).

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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
I'm still looking for pictures (haven't got that many myself, I'm afraid).
I am not in the habit of photographing while I drive, but a quick search on google images, and this is what I found for instance for rv 3:



Beware visitors, Norway is the country of the lowest speed limits and highest fines of the world.



'


(I have myself waited for a looong time after a similar incident on rv 3...)




Another dual truck gridlock across a narrow bridge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
Afaik, that's not the intention. As stated, my facts are rather sketchy, but it seems to me as though the likely outcome is that the county roads will be included in the excisting numbering scheme. Exactly how they're going to achieve this, I do not know, and if they don't make some changes, it's going to become a rather messy situation.
I agree, if at all they bother to number the county roads. And your facts are probably sketchy because nothing is decided. However, it should be noted that the regional reform is a bit controversial, and a new government may abolish the regional adminstration level altogether, in which case there will probably be no need to change the numbering. In principle I however think it is a good idea to divide the trunk road further from the other national roads, as this probably in the long run will give a better and long needed focus on the trunk roads.

BTW, all county and municipal roads are numbered also today, but their respective numbers (fvxxx and kvyyy) are not signposted.
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Last edited by 54°26′S 3°24′E; October 2nd, 2008 at 09:38 AM.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 03:23 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
I am not terribly interested in rethorics.
Fair enough.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
You don't have to be scientific, but a reasonably backing in facts, at least after they have been presented to you, don't hurt...
Which I do on the former and don't on the latter. But let's just leave it, statistical use and abuse is still boring.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
You insist on partial toll financing, and disregard the fact that the amount Norwegians already pay in indirect road tax would pay down the complete motorway network in four years or so, or that the Norwegian economy, unlike those listed above (with the partial exception of China, where car use is heavily subsidized), is running at a gigantic surplus.
Again: Please comment on what I'm actually saying instead of what you think I say or wish me to say. I don't insist on anything toll-related, but the world's governments seem to. I'm no particular fan of toll roads and have said so before, but I can't change reality. But I'm slightly more optimistic now that the Friedmanian werewolves have suffered a serious blow: government control and funding might just become fashionable again.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
Well, we have tried your way for more than 40 years now, you can see where that has lead us, compared with for instance Denmark who has had a clear vision for their transport network. Not pointing out that some roads are more important than others, with an ultimate goal of motorway standard, will give the funding politicians continued opportunity to prioritize the road in their own backyard.
I do believe in a better infrastructure, but I don't believe in motorways where they're not needed and I certainly don't believe that they're going to happen. And again, I'm not going to look for tons of statistics to support my claims, since it was proven some time ago that it didn't change anything. However, in a political landscape like ours, I truly believe that promoting moderate realism might just change things (we are very much a consensus nation of reform, and not revolutionary...), whereas promoting massive motorway schemes will stir up so much opposition and bad feelings that even more realistic projects will suffer in the process. And since we're back to square one - again - I think I'll leave this as well. At least for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
Thanks for the overview. With rather recent experience with most of this road I can confirm that not much has happened. It should be noted, however, that the Jondal tunnel is approved, which will really open up E134 as the most viable Oslo-Bergen alternative. E134 is already the most trafficated East/West route, I believe.
The latter is certainly true, but again, largely because even drivers haven't made up their mind about the road either (apart from those going to Haugesund, of course...). It's "stuck in the middle", so to speak. I wouldn't mind seeing it as the main Oslo-Bergen link, but I believe it's doomed because of serious opposition from too many lobbyists from counties further north. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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I guess I have to try the Rendalen road (rv 30) soon, but since it is slightly longer, and I have feared for the standard, I have not done that so far. In addition, traffic delays are seldom a problem on rv 3, but perhaps it was police traffic you were thinking of...
Well, you need to go down the entire Rendalen, down to Rena, not just the rv 30 to Koppang. You take the county road on the eastern side of Storsjøen down to Rena. A bit twisty in parts along the lake, south of the lake it's straight as an arrow. The entire section is actually a couple of kms shorter than the rv 3, and a far more pleasant drive. It's even more scenic. And with the added benefit of no police whatsoever, of course..

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
I agree, if at all they bother to number the county roads. And your facts are probably sketchy because nothing is decided. However, it should be noted that the regional reform is a bit controversial, and a new government may abolish the regional adminstration level altogether, in which case there will probably be no need to change the numbering. In principle I however think it is a good idea to divide the trunk road further from the other national roads, as this probably in the long run will give a better and long needed focus on the trunk roads.
Well, the only thing that seems not to be sketchy, is the fact that the Vegvesen regional reform (already partly implemented, remember...) is continuing. I don't think a new government would change that a few months before the new system is to become operational. I even believe that the reform is necessary, the current numbering scheme is rather messed up. But if they're going to do this, they should do it properly. For instance: 1-25 plus E routes - national routes, 26-99 - key regional routes, 100-999 - regional and important local routes.

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Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
BTW, all county and municipal roads are numbered also today, but their respective numbers (fvxxx and kvyyy) are not signposted.
I know.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #400
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I do believe in a better infrastructure, but I don't believe in motorways where they're not needed and I certainly don't believe that they're going to happen. And again, I'm not going to look for tons of statistics to support my claims, since it was proven some time ago that it didn't change anything. However, in a political landscape like ours, I truly believe that promoting moderate realism might just change things (we are very much a consensus nation of reform, and not revolutionary...), whereas promoting massive motorway schemes will stir up so much opposition and bad feelings that even more realistic projects will suffer in the process. And since we're back to square one - again - I think I'll leave this as well. At least for a while.
OK, I think we have said all that can be said on the issue. As a final remark I would just say that we certainly need both a motorway network and probably also HSR, the former due to economy and environment, the latter due to environment and quality of life. I believe I have argued quite convincingly for this earlier in the thread, and won't repeat it again. Also, after this summer's debate, it should be clear that if it is one area of politics where Norwegians clearly are ready for a radical change, it is infrastructure. Most parties, except the radical left, seem to have understood this more or less. A couple of elections ago the hospitals were the great theme for the election, then it was the eldery, last time it was child care. In all these issues something were delivered. Next time I hope it can be infrastructure and education... A radical reform does not have to be that controversial, except, again, for the radical left, as long as the corridors are kept out of the most sensitive areas and it is combined with a real effort on PT in the cities.

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Well, you need to go down the entire Rendalen, down to Rena, not just the rv 30 to Koppang. You take the county road on the eastern side of Storsjøen down to Rena. A bit twisty in parts along the lake, south of the lake it's straight as an arrow. The entire section is actually a couple of kms shorter than the rv 3, and a far more pleasant drive. It's even more scenic. And with the added benefit of no police whatsoever, of course..
Oh, I see, the county road. Now that you mentioned it I actually remember that I not that long ago considered exactly that road, but once I got to Rena I did not feel I had the time to check out a new road. Part of the reason was, as I said, that I feared that in particular the county road should be substandard. I also thought I had heard someone saying that there should be more speed limit zones on the Rendalen road, but when checking www.viskart.no (a great, but somewhat slow, engine btw), that does not appear to be the case. Also the traffic in Rendalen is below 1000 AADT at most points, even below 500 at the least trafficated stretch.

The Rendalen road is around 7 km shorter, as you said, which normally equals around 5 minutes. However, both the engines I have tried says that the road through Storelvdal/Alvdal (Rv 3) is about 6 minutes shorter. I wonder why. Anyway, Rendalen is not, and will probably never be the favored truck route, unless something is done with the 700+ m altitude pass behind the Tron mountain.

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Well, the only thing that seems not to be sketchy, is the fact that the Vegvesen regional reform (already partly implemented, remember...) is continuing. I don't think a new government would change that a few months before the new system is to become operational. I even believe that the reform is necessary, the current numbering scheme is rather messed up.
You have to remember that this is not a primarily a Vegvesen reform, but a political "regional" reform, and this is a reform that the two largest opposition parties, the Progress party and the conservative party, are very much against. They want to have a two-level system of governence, without a regional level. "Regional" is in quotes because the current government actually did not manage to agree on any regions, and rather kept the old counties (which are very much smaller than the Vegvesenet regions btw). Hence, the "regional" level remains weak, and would be quite easy for a new government to erase it as it does not have much popular support.

However, you maybe right, they will perhaps be able to introduce new numbering first, and it would be a good reform if it does not turn to costly. Hopefully, they can simultaneously declassify some of the green roads; currently I believe there are quite a few that does not deserve this status.
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I know.
I knew you would
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