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Old August 8th, 2016, 06:43 PM   #4141
ElviS77
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Yes, but more money is needed for maintenance than the income collected by the drivers. Who has to pay finally? You and me perhaps Is that what we want? There are already plans to conserve bridge parts and use them to built a new Jondal bridge.
I have a strong suspiscion that the Hardanger bridge will remain exactly where it is for a long time. Tearing it down would be a political disaster of spectacular magnitude as long as there's nothing technically wrong with the structure. A second Hardangerfjord crossing is not coming anytime soon, and I just don't believe anyone would suggest going from one to zero fixed Hardangerfjord crossings for a long period of time. I might be mistaken, of course...
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Old August 8th, 2016, 07:54 PM   #4142
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I've done quite a bit of driving this summer. Over the weekend I went to Trondheim to pick up some furniture, and since my Volvo isn't that big, I hired a Ford Transit. Even though a Transit of today is a very different car from those 25 (or 50!) years ago, it's still not a very fast thing. Thus, going with the flow was more or less the only option, and this gives more time for contemplation up and down the rv 3. Since the road has been widened in quite a few places (and more sections are currently improved or at the planning stage), I was thinking about this and the speed limits.

A few years ago, roughly 100 kms of the rv 3 was 90 km/h. Today, it's 80 all the way, even along considerably improved sections which used to be 90 roads. This is somewhat of a predicament: since the current alignment invites considerably higher speeds than the old one, more people do not respect the posted limit. Now, I'm not a person who's likely to promote very high speed limits on undivided roads (anything above 100 is borderline insane in my book - places like the Outback aside...), but one needs to have a balance. Furthermore, when in Trondheim, I actually read an article about the number of speeders caught along rv 3 in Østerdalen this summer (ery high) where the person interviewed suggested that the interpretation of the speed limit as being too low may well be the main cause - the problem was that people not only stopped respecting the 80 km/h general limit, but also ignored 50 and 60 km/h zones. That is a major problem, since those lower limits are in place for very good reasons.

So, what to do? I'm against any general increase, partly because most Norwegian roads aren't up to the job, but mostly because I actually believe that speed limits which reflect the quality of the road are sensible - at least along the main traffic corridors. People will understand it if they'll see 90 km/h along the 8.5 metres wide newer sections of road and then 80 km/h along the rest (possibly even combined with a "narrow road" sign). Again, raising speed limits on 2-lane highways has its problems, but the alternative is far worse: a general disrespect of our speed limits altogether. This is, of course, not only a problem along the rv 3, an increasing number of main roads have a similar situation. In some places, particularly in northern Norway, new national roads are now built to 90 km/h standard, which partly sorts out the long-term issue, as does the construction of divided expressways.

(There are several future alternatives, of course: full motorway and/or divided expressway with a new alignment and/or divided 1+1/2+1 regular highway following the current road, but that's not my concern in this post, as none of these are likely to even be started north of Rena and south of Ulsberg in more than a decade - if at all.)

However, the rv 3 and a few other highways aren't like those roads. First of all, it's a reasonable standard road to begin with, and - at least at the moment - a widening and slight realignment is what it's going to get. Also, it's far busier than for instance the E6 on Helgeland in Nordland county, and its HGV traffic is considerable, meaning that a higher speed limit is more likely to impact road safety. Then again, a general disrespect for speed limits is ten times worse... In short, something needs to be done. We need improved roads for safer and faster travel, but we cannot have a general increase in speed on every roads. The only viable solution I see is more differenciated speed limits, but even that may be problematic.

Thoughts?
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Old August 8th, 2016, 11:18 PM   #4143
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Rv 3 reminds me more of a Swedish highway than a Norwegian one. A majority of the stretch could have 90 already, but I suspect political bullshit about "the environment" and "safety" has gotten in the way.

I don't know the AADT on the road, but apart from north of Elverum, I would believe the traffic volumes don't justify any major improvements, outside widening to 8,5m. There's just too little local traffic. I drove Alvdal - Tynset this summer, and it was far from busy.

Again, it comes down to politics. The whole stretch could have 90 with a little widening, getting rid of some intersections, building some parallel roads for local traffic, fixing curves etc, but that would be pretty much politically incorrect in these times.
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Old August 9th, 2016, 12:27 AM   #4144
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A ca. 20 km? stretch between Koppang and Alvdal, currently under construction/widening, gonna be 9,0 m instead of 8,5 m, with a 0,5 m hatched/barrier lane. This is done to make 90 km/h possible again, is my guess.

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Old August 9th, 2016, 10:18 AM   #4145
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I don't know the AADT on the road, but apart from north of Elverum, I would believe the traffic volumes don't justify any major improvements, outside widening to 8,5m. There's just too little local traffic. I drove Alvdal - Tynset this summer, and it was far from busy.

Again, it comes down to politics. The whole stretch could have 90 with a little widening, getting rid of some intersections, building some parallel roads for local traffic, fixing curves etc, but that would be pretty much politically incorrect in these times.
There should come clarity from politicians to design missing links of the main road between Oslo and Trondheim. For decades upgrades are on both E6 and Rv 3, and as a consequence, all the candidates are rather substandard. It will be better for all who drive from Oslo to Trondheim to have a decent road, with as much 2+1 or even full motorway, and to invest all improvement in one road. Perhaps it may take one or more decades to build such a road.
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Old August 9th, 2016, 06:09 PM   #4146
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Video of the new E6 Frya - Sjoa

Found this video of the new E6 between Frya - Sjoa (33 km) in Gudbrandsdalen: https://www.nrk.no/ho/bli-med-og-pro...-e6-1.13049874. The new road opens in December.
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Old August 9th, 2016, 07:02 PM   #4147
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The slope of 'Mannen' in Romsdalen near Åndalsnes is being evacuated again. It's one of the most unstable mountains of Norway.

I drove by it in June. I stayed on the campsite Trollveggen which is located below the highest vertical overhanging wall in Europe (1100 m). There were small avalanches every few hours. Luckily there was a river between the wall and the campsite. Trollveggen and Mannen are very close to each other.


E136 Mannen by European Roads, on Flickr
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Old August 9th, 2016, 08:45 PM   #4148
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The slope of 'Mannen' in Romsdalen near Åndalsnes is being evacuated again. It's one of the most unstable mountains of Norway.

I drove by it in June. I stayed on the campsite Trollveggen which is located below the highest vertical overhanging wall in Europe (1100 m). There were small avalanches every few hours. Luckily there was a river between the wall and the campsite. Trollveggen and Mannen are very close to each other.


E136 Mannen by European Roads, on Flickr
The pieces of rock that is on the move is about 120-180 000 cubic meters, and has slided 60cm so far the last three months. However, due to the last days of intense rain it has reached the speed of 7cm just today! This rockfall will be large, but most of these masses will not reach the railroad or the houses, but smaller rocks and debre might reach the river which is why they evacuate everyone at Lyngheim, Rønningen and Lyngheimsgjerdet.

The piece of rock on the move is a small part high up on B in this map. Section A, B and C is what makes up the entire moving part of Mannen (100 million cubic meters). Section A has a speed of about 10cm pr year. Section B has a speed of 5cm pr year. Section C has a speed of less than 1cm pr year. Its expected that section A and B will fall down within the year of 2100. When they do they will destroy today's railroad-line, European rout 136, several farms and houses and dam up the Rauma river for a while. A potential breakup might be catastrophic for the city of Åndalsnes 5km further down the river.

Section A: 2-4 million m3 Section A+B: 15-25 million M3 Section A, B and C: 100 million m3


This is how the minor slide (120-180 000m3) is expected to behave. The figure to the left shows the number of rocks, the figure in the middle show the height of the falling/bouncing rocks and the last figure shows the energy. However, this figures shows a 40 000m3 slide, and with dry rocks. Its expected that water and mud will push the slide further, possibly all the way to the river.


A small video from a 10 000m3 rockfall at Mannen/Børa in 2007
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Last edited by Þróndeimr; August 10th, 2016 at 01:21 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2016, 10:08 PM   #4149
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Found this video of the new E6 between Frya - Sjoa (33 km) in Gudbrandsdalen: https://www.nrk.no/ho/bli-med-og-pro...-e6-1.13049874. The new road opens in December.
This new upgrade on E6 with grade separated 2+1, E6 section saves 11 minutes. Together with other upgrades Lillehammer-Otta and the upcoming upgrade to motorway of Kolomoen-Lillehammer (saves 12 minutes), the E6 may become faster than Rv 3. After the upgrades the E6 will at least be safer because of longer sections with a central barrier and grade separated road.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 01:40 PM   #4150
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'gas in tunnel'. Very good for the peace of mind of people who don't like driving through tunnels



It's the Ibestad Tunnel near Hamnvik in Troms. It is a 3.4 kilometer long undersea tunnel with no ventilation. It features 10% grades. There are periodically high levels of NO2.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 02:47 PM   #4151
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How's that even allowed? Is it an old tunnel?
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Old August 10th, 2016, 02:56 PM   #4152
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One day I had the bad idea to cross by foot a 450m long tunnel. It was allowed and there was even a sidewalk for pedestrians. Very bad idea. Air inside was almost unbreathable (and it wasn't even at rush hour), so I ran the fastest I could to get out as soon as possible. It would have been wiser to walk that 1km+ around the hill or to catch a bus across the tunnel.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old August 10th, 2016, 02:57 PM   #4153
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How's that even allowed? Is it an old tunnel?
The image shows 2000 as the year of construction.

The EU tunnel directive does not enforce ventilation in tunnels where the AADT is less than 2000.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 02:57 PM   #4154
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How's that even allowed? Is it an old tunnel?
It says 2000 on the tunnel entry.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 05:09 PM   #4155
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The tunnel opened on 2 December 2000, so it is not really old. The average traffic is less than 600 vehicles per day.

I'm not sure if the EU tunnel directive even applies to tunnels outside the TEN-T routes. Of course countries could create legislation to copy the EU directive to all tunnels (the Netherlands did that).
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Old August 10th, 2016, 06:41 PM   #4156
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We've at least sort of adapted the EU directive, but since we've got so many older tunnels, low AADT tunnels will not be prioritized. However, this is not the only tunnel where cycling is banned due to possible high levels of gas. With an increased number of cycling tourists, this is basically a precaution. It's also worth noting that many Norwegian tunnels are fairly steep and narrow. Thus, cycling is not sensible even when gas levels are acceptable.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 08:20 PM   #4157
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Walking through Oslo's streets, I started thinking about another interesting aspect of Norway's traffic policies over the years. Not only is the road network in need of a serious makeover, our cars are fairly old as well, and these things are at least in part connected. Cars were seen as a luxury item even after regular sales were permitted in 1960, and therefore they have been taxed fairly heavily ever since. Even in the last couple of decades, when the average Norwegian's economy has gone from not just being fairly good to being top of the world, cars are still expensive compared to most Western countries, particularly so when it comes to more powerful car models.

As a consequence, Norwegians have in general leaned towards buying less powerful versions of a particular make and model, but back when I grew up in the 70s and 80s, the impact wasn't particularly significant. People didn't necessarily buy the 90 hp 1.6 instead of the 100 hp 2.0 "top of the range" model - prices weren't that different. Some bought smaller 50-60 hp models, some went for Golf-style 75 hp hatchbacks, and if you were a little bit better off, you bought a Volvo 240 turning out a massive 100+ hp.... Of course, we had our share of upper-middle-class people as well who, depending on their age, went mad with BMWs and Mercedeses (or GTI models)... but even those weren't that powerful back in the day - leaving M5s, S classes and such aside, there were few models in the 200 hp class. And only Porsches and Italian supercars turned out more than that, and those were off limits even for most non-Norwegians...

So, what am I getting at? Well, back in the day, before oil wealth had turned us into mini sheiks, even car engines were fairly social democratic. Oh, how things have changed... Today, no car maker dares not to go for POWER, even on regular family car alternatives. Nothing wrong with that, but it completely changed the game for the average Norwegian motorist - engine capacity and power outpur are both heavily taxed. Thus, the current "1.6" (its actual size has probably decreased...) is not that different from the 80s - 110-140 hp, perhaps, and given the fact that the current model is almost twice as heavy, there's nothing wrong with that slight bump. However, the top-range thingy is most likely a 300+ hp beast, and even the typical mid-range model that most Europeans are likely to choose has 160-200 hp. Suddenly, horsepower matters, since the top-range thing is twice, possibly three times as expensive as the (already expensive) base model. GTI cars are even worse, now closing in on 300 hp...

How on earth, then, can an average, now more affluent, Norwegian show his (yes, we're still talking a "he", even in our reasonably equal society...) status without breaking the bank? The answer has traditionally been fairly straightforward: he buys the entry level model and specks it to the max... In the past, you either bought a GL or a GLT (this is still Volvo land...), getting extra engine power as a part of the package. Today, you buy a D2 instead of a D5, fill it up with all extras you can imagine and off you go.

As a keen - albeit sensible - driver, I've never fully understood this. Engine power and car setup are more important than fancy gadgets, and if you can't afford a V70, you need to get a different car, not the diet version! Personally, I've solved this by buying used cars, but other people have started thinking in a different way: they have become "environmentalists". I'm not making fun here, environmental protection, combating climate change, improving urban living, recycling etc are of course the most important challenges of our age, I'm merely suggesting that the rise of the eco-friendly car sales in Norway has little to do with actual environmental concern.

What happened? First of all, CO2 emissions became an important factor when taxing cars. First, hybrids came, and since they - according to manufacturer's data - were far kinder on the environment than their petrol- or diesel-powered cousins (the fact that many similarly Powered, yet frugal, diesel - and later even petrol - engines were as good or better in real life, didn't matter...). For most of the world, though, Priuses and their like were fashion statements - "oh, I'm such an environmentalist champion" - and even when more interesting models arrived, it took some time for them to get market shares. Well-known facts, but still bringing different consequenses up here. Because of the high taxes, these cars were considerably less expensive than their oil-burning counterparts - and the Norwegian driver could suddenly get both power and gadgets when showing his new riches to the world.

So what about all the Teslas? To begin with, electric cars weren't very popular here either. Since they were useless, small pieces of sh*t with no range at all, even money issues didn't really make that much of a difference. Tesla was a game-changer. Suddenly, you could buy a powerful, big luxury saloon for not much more than midsize car money - for a decent-spec Volvo S60 D4, you're looking at north of 500,000 NOK. A Tesla Model S 60 is yours if you add not much more than 100,000. Of course, that's an entry-level Tesla and it's certainly more money, but you're still in the same ballpark... The results have been spectacular, of course, Tesla sales are through the roof.

You might ask yourself what I'm really getting at here, particularly if I add that I'm sceptical about the real environmental value of current electric cars. My main point is, I think, this: If you want people to behave differently, you need to make it seem like a good idea to them. We Norwegians don't buy Teslas, Nissan Leafs etc hand over fist because they get to drive in bus lanes, we don't buy them because they're that much better cars than the alternatives and we certainly don't buy them because we're particularly environmentally friendly: we buy them because it feels like a good deal to get more for less. The result is that we as a people have started believing there are good alternatives to petrol and diesel. That makes a difference when politicians/the world's resources/science eventually put an end to non-renewable energy driving - we're already used to the idea. Not because we liked the environment so much, but because we eventually were fed up with the idea of under-powered family cars!
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Old August 10th, 2016, 08:36 PM   #4158
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Interesting thoughts. When I visited Norway, I noticed the large volume of old cars, you can easily spot the pre-2006 license plate format. Also outside the larger urban areas, large pickup trucks and SUVs seemed more common than EL-plated cars.

Electric cars are more environmentally sound in Norway than many other places, given that all electricity is produced through renewable energy. Though the success of the electric car is virtually entirely due to tax incentives, almost nowhere is the market so distorted as in Norway.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 08:55 PM   #4159
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I'm not sure if the EU tunnel directive even applies to tunnels outside the TEN-T routes.
No, it does not. Still it is often referred to as a best practice.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 09:48 PM   #4160
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We've at least sort of adapted the EU directive, but since we've got so many older tunnels, low AADT tunnels will not be prioritized. However, this is not the only tunnel where cycling is banned due to possible high levels of gas. With an increased number of cycling tourists, this is basically a precaution. It's also worth noting that many Norwegian tunnels are fairly steep and narrow. Thus, cycling is not sensible even when gas levels are acceptable.
A tunnel forbidden to cyclist is not uncommon in Norway. The https://www.vegvesen.no/vegkart/vegkart shows 1166 tunnels. 413 of those are forbidden to cyclist. In addition, there are 118 tunnels having no data.
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