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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:07 PM   #821
Ingenioren
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It's a part of a scheme to lower car-trafic in the inner-city, is it not? :P Atleast it will open up Tromsøgata for trafic... I mainly think it is a bad solution for the busses passing trough from 4 direction, and there are virtually one or two every minute....

I don't get why they sign this route to Gjøvik anyway, can't they sign trough the tunnels instead?
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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:21 PM   #822
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It's because of it's part of rv4. It's not exactly like it's less traffic on ring3. I have strong doubt that it will lower traffic, I think it will just be even more chaotic. I've walked down Trondheimsveien from Sinsen to Carl Berner some sundays this last year, and all I can say is that the chaos there during construction-period has not caused less traffic. When there's hundreds of meters of jam there even in the middle of sundays, I doubt people will automatically not drive there when the roundabout is finished. Much of the jam there now seems to be busses anyway. This is just my observation.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 03:11 AM   #823
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Bergen - Trondheim

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Originally Posted by Kjello0 View Post
That depends on where you want the exit at the island Losna. As it's mostly mountain it's probably the best solution to place the exit at the north side, in direct contact to the bridge that will be needed over Storakersund. That alone would make the tunnel about 6 km longer. The subsea part would probably be around 10 km. So in total about 16 km I guess.
A Sognefjord crossing is actually possible, which I did not think before. At present, however, such a project would be hard to defend because of the relatively light traffic.

Now back to another road that probably would, at best, be some years or decades into the future: A faster Trondheim - Bergen road. The current most relevant roads (blue), and some proposal for new roads (various other colors) are given in the map below.

The purpose of my study was to try to determine whether an improvement of the road connection between the two cities (and thus automatically also Trondheim-Stavanger) is feasable. Preferably, the new link should be useful for trucks.

Current alternatives:
Although there are of course ways to drive between the number two (Bergen) and number 3/4 (Trondheim) city in Norway today, none of them are particularly good. This is a summary of the roads available today, with reference (except Dokka alternative) to map above:

The travel time estimates are quite crude. Firstly, the although the travel speed is not great anywhere in Norway, and particularly not on this route, it varies a lot between drivers, vehicles, weather, and traffic, especially where the road is steep and winding. According to this report, the average driving speed (along E39?) between Trondheim and Bergen is 67.6 km/h, which is the value I have used both for trucks and cars. Secondly, the time spent on ferries also varies wildy, and could be anything between 20 minutes and an hour or more depending on traffic, schedule, and ferry sailing length. I have used 40 minutes per ferry, which hopefully is not too far off the average value.

E 39 is supposed to be the road of the future, following the coast all the way from Kristiansand to Trondheim. However, because of all the ferries, this route is only used by tourists between Bergen and Trondheim.

The other, interior alternatives all must cross at least two mountain ranges, one between western Norway and Gudbrandsdalen valley, and one between Gudbrandsdalen valley and central Norway (Dovrefjell). Dovrefjell does however already have a fairly good road (E6), which is only closed a day or two at most each winter, and is treated as a given in the following.

Although the Dokka alternative is winter open, it is too long to be useful for most people (the distance for trucks are even longer). Strynefjell I believe is the alternative favored by the trucks, and certainly the express buses, whereas Sognefjell/Tindevegen is the shortest (during summer).

The latter goes through one of the most dramatic mountain arae of Norway, with view to some of the tallest mountains of the country. However, Tindevegen is very steep, narrow, and winding, and is only recommended for vehicles shorter than 10 m, which should be understandeble from the following images....




The road continues across Sognefjellet, which is the highest mountain road pass of northern Europe at 1434 m altitude....

(there are roads going to higher altitude in Norway, however, but those are not passes)

Although Valdresflya is a little better for trucks, it is also rather steep, goes up to fairly high altitude and is like Sognefjellet/Tindevegen closed during winter (that means October to May!) due to severe weather.

In short, there is no ideal route Trondheim - Bergen today.....

Possible new routes
As could be understood from the discussion above, the major obstacle for an interior road between Bergen and Trondheim is the mountains between western Norway and eastern Norway, more specifically Sognefjorden and Gudbrandsdalen (i.e. E6).

As far as I can see, there are four major ways of eliminate this obstacle:
  1. Tunnel under Smørstadbrean glacier (shown in red on map above)
  2. Tunnel Årdal-Luster (roughly Tindevegen) and then tunnel from luster under Sognefjellet (shown in dark green above)
  3. Tunnel under Valdresflya (IMO this is not a realistic alternative, despite what I have said earlier, because the tunnel would have to be very long
  4. New road south-east of Valdresflya from E16 to Sjoa in Gudbrandsdalen

Tunnel under Smørstadbrean

This alternative is the most direct of all, and involves building a new road up Utladalen valley, and then a tunnel of between 16 and 20 km to Leirdalen. One issue with the shortest tunnel is that it goes to a higher altitude, about 1200 m, than any of the other alternatives. In addition, Utladalen is extremely steep at some points, and will probably require some extra, but shorter, tunnels. However, the major problem with this road is that it, rightfully, will raise a lot of protests. Although it just avoids the Jotunheimen national park, Utladalen is a rather pristine area with great views and waterfalls, which most Norwegians probably would like to keep undeveloped.

Tunnel alternative via Luster
This alternative has already been discussed in this thread, and there is not much to say about it, except that it will require two rather than one long tunnel, and Luster would represent a detour compared with a Smørstadbrean tunnel. The "shorter" Sognefjell tunnel of 17 km would also be relatively steep at 5 %. However, it will not awake much environmental protests, and the lobbying of the Luster community would probably be useful for the project.

Vågamo - Dovre shortcut

It is worth noting, that both Smørstadbrean tunnel and Luster alternatives would benefit greatly from a new tunnel towards E6. As shown in the map above, a tunnel from Vågåmo to Dovre of 12 km would shorten the route with 37 km for cars and 61 km for trucks.

E16 (Beitostølen) to Sjoa

I started considering this alternative after reading a post on a Norwegian trucking site, which btw also provides an impressing picture series from the current Valdresflya road.

Two alternatives for this route are shown in the map above. I believe it should be possible to make a route here with relatively few tunnels, shown in pink. However, this road would be rather steep, and fairly long for trucks as they have to make a detour via Fagernes. With more tunnels, the route would be shorter, but the cost would probably approach what the other alternatives.

E39
A ferry free E39 is a vision being pushed by local politicians all along the Norwegian west coast, and as shown by Kjello0 earlier in this thread this could result in a relatively short and fast road. However, it requires a lot of fjord crossings and heavy investments. However, since the coast is more populated than the interior, this road will get more local traffic, and also connect Bergen/Trondheim to cities like Molde, Kristiansund, Ålesund, Måløy etc.

Summary/Conclusions

The alternatives are summed up in the table above. The "saved km" and "saved time" columns compares the driving distance and time with the fastest winter open alternative today, which is Strynefjell. It is possible to make a truckable ferry-free all-season road Trondheim by constructing only between 48 and 72 km of new road. The by far shortest alternative, a tunnel under Smøstadbrean glacier around the Jotunheimen national park is quite environmentally problematic and would probably never be accepted. Other alternatives are more expensive (via Luster) or longer (via Beitostølen/Sjoa).

Although an interior Trondheim-Bergen link is far cheaper than upgrading the E39 to a modern ferry free road, I am not sure it will ever happen. The problem is that the neither the Trondheim area or western Norway would have such a road high up on the priority list at the moment, as they both are more concerned about getting good connections to neighboring cities along the cost (i.e. improving E39), as well as getting better connection to Oslo. Thus, probably the local politicians close to the proposed new roads would have to push such a project through, which would be difficult, but, as numerous previous projects have shown, not impossible....
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Last edited by 54°26′S 3°24′E; August 28th, 2009 at 12:33 AM.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 03:23 AM   #824
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A panorama from Tindevegen (not my own):
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 10:55 AM   #825
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Nice work on the Bergen - Trondheim roads.

What's the current travel time for cars and trucks?

Despite the relatively short distances, I think the Bergen region is pretty remote in terms of driving time.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 03:42 PM   #826
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Sognefjellet is not really a good alternative for Stavanger now if I'm not mistaken, but with Rogfast etc, this would probably become the prefered route for Stavanger-Trondheim too.

oh, and good job with that post! of Bergen-Trondheim improvements!
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 06:57 PM   #827
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Impressed by your work.
But I see two foults. Over Strynfjellet car distance is 695 km. But truck distance is a massive 745 km and two ferries.
First trucks have to drive via Otta as you showed on your map. But you forgot that when summed up the current routes. This makes the route 23,5 km longer.
But in adition Rv 60 from Stryn to Byrkjelo is in no way suitable for trucks. Meaning trucks have to drive all the way to Nordfjordeid. Another 26,5 km and a ferry. Meaning the total distance for trucks over Strynfjellet is 745,4 km and two ferries.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 07:09 PM   #828
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Great work, but personally, I would also much more like to see a coastal E39 alternative for the Bergen-Tronheim route. Most people in this country live along the coast, and the road would be much more feasable in terms of picking up more local traffic. I would think we would be able to do so much more with the same money by focusing the traffic in this area on only one route, while your (54°26′S 3°24′E) alternative would require lots of ongoing works on both E39 and the mountain passes. You also state yourself that mountainpasses have unpredictable weather, an even with your tunnels, that will to a certain degree keep influencing the traffic.

As stated previously in this thread, a strong, ferry-free E39 could obsolete some of the many airports in North-Western Norway, and tie the region together more than today. In worst case, if E39 should continue with one or two ferry connections, these should be frequent, free and going 24/7.

So my conclusion is that the mountainpasses should be kept as mostly tourist roads, just as they are today
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:11 AM   #829
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Thanks for the comments guys, and sorry for the late reply. (Summer is over, fall is here, and there is something called work and, in Norway at least, "matauk" (which translates to something like "increasing the supply of food in a household by for instance berry/mushroom picking and home gardening", at least according to the dictionary, but I might add hunting and fishing...)

There is btw an impressive picture series from Valdresflya here which you might enjoy even if it the text is in Norwegian.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Nice work on the Bergen - Trondheim roads.

What's the current travel time for cars and trucks?

Despite the relatively short distances, I think the Bergen region is pretty remote in terms of driving time.
I have added some travel times to my tables, but as I warn below the first tables, these are rough estimates that can vary quite a bit. Regarding the remoteness of Bergen, I think it depends on the eyes that are looking. Bergen has traditionally been looking a lot more towards the sea and trading partners in UK and Germany than to the rest of Norway. Until recently, for instance, Bergen had direct ferry links to the UK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red-Lion View Post
Sognefjellet is not really a good alternative for Stavanger now if I'm not mistaken, but with Rogfast etc, this would probably become the prefered route for Stavanger-Trondheim too.

oh, and good job with that post! of Bergen-Trondheim improvements!
Realistically, I guess both Rogfast and Hordfast will be built first anyway, and the first (and I think silly) Hardanger fjord bridge is already U/C.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjello0 View Post
Impressed by your work.
But I see two foults. Over Strynfjellet car distance is 695 km. But truck distance is a massive 745 km and two ferries.
First trucks have to drive via Otta as you showed on your map. But you forgot that when summed up the current routes. This makes the route 23,5 km longer.
But in adition Rv 60 from Stryn to Byrkjelo is in no way suitable for trucks. Meaning trucks have to drive all the way to Nordfjordeid. Another 26,5 km and a ferry. Meaning the total distance for trucks over Strynfjellet is 745,4 km and two ferries.
Thanks for the correction, I have now updated the tables. Honestly, I have not been driving between Nordfjord and Sognefjorden since I was a kid, and I did not bother to check that route to carefully since it is not a particularly good future alternative anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceCheese View Post
Great work, but personally, I would also much more like to see a coastal E39 alternative for the Bergen-Tronheim route. Most people in this country live along the coast, and the road would be much more feasable in terms of picking up more local traffic. I would think we would be able to do so much more with the same money by focusing the traffic in this area on only one route, while your (54°26′S 3°24′E) alternative would require lots of ongoing works on both E39 and the mountain passes. You also state yourself that mountainpasses have unpredictable weather, an even with your tunnels, that will to a certain degree keep influencing the traffic.

As stated previously in this thread, a strong, ferry-free E39 could obsolete some of the many airports in North-Western Norway, and tie the region together more than today. In worst case, if E39 should continue with one or two ferry connections, these should be frequent, free and going 24/7.

So my conclusion is that the mountainpasses should be kept as mostly tourist roads, just as they are today
As I commented above, the E 39 certainly serves other, and probably more important needs than an interior Trondheim-Bergen road, and E39 also has a lot more friends politically, as this is the focus along the whole coast. However, although it might not happen, I still think it is a good idea to make an interiour route, because:
  • The investments required are really minor compared with a ferry free E39. Note that even the cheapest alternative Beitostølen-Heidal-Sjoa, which probably is what I would choose in the short run, with 60 km new road and only a few short tunnels makes the truck distance almost two hours shorter. The price tag would probably be around 1 billion NOK, and could be something that we could enjoy in our lifetime. The more ambitious plans, with saved truck driving times of 3-4 hours, are more costly, and not as sensible, but would in total probably cost less than for instance Romsdalsfjord or Sognefjord crossing.
  • I do not believe any of the alternatives I mentioned would be prone to closures. Again, probably Beitostølen-Vinstre-Heidal is most exposed, but if it is built relatively high in the terrain (such that the snow blows off), it probably would have a regularity close to that of Dovrefjell, which has far more closures than for instance the Oslo-fjord tunnel and certainly any ferry crossing.
  • Even if E39 should be improved some decades ahead to the degree that travel times can compete with an interior alternative, it would still be useful for the (not terribly numerous) people of upper Oppland and Sogn.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:53 AM   #830
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I imagine an upgrade of Rv60 will be forced ahead with the finishing of Knivsvegen(E39.) this road will see increased trafic aswell, there's even been discussed rerouting E39 trough this corridor. And then you have an inland-road E39 north from Bergen and East on Rv15 (Wich is surpricingly good standard considering it doesn't connect villages basicly) - i've heard the tunnels are quite low, but these should be raised to 4,20 anyway, then E6 to Trondheim, suitable for trucks all year.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #831
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingenioren View Post
I imagine an upgrade of Rv60 will be forced ahead with the finishing of Knivsvegen(E39.) this road will see increased trafic aswell, there's even been discussed rerouting E39 trough this corridor. And then you have an inland-road E39 north from Bergen and East on Rv15 (Wich is surpricingly good standard considering it doesn't connect villages basicly) - i've heard the tunnels are quite low, but these should be raised to 4,20 anyway, then E6 to Trondheim, suitable for trucks all year.
I believe that a rerouting of the E39 in the current rv 60 corridor is the only reasonable move post Kvisvegen. Already ferry free (even though in apalling condition...), and a fjord crossing here would shorten the E39 considerably.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54°26′S 3°24′E View Post
Although an interior Trondheim-Bergen link is far cheaper than upgrading the E39 to a modern ferry free road, I am not sure it will ever happen. The problem is that the neither the Trondheim area or western Norway would have such a road high up on the priority list at the moment, as they both are more concerned about getting good connections to neighboring cities along the cost (i.e. improving E39), as well as getting better connection to Oslo. Thus, probably the local politicians close to the proposed new roads would have to push such a project through, which would be difficult, but, as numerous previous projects have shown, not impossible....
Nice work compiling alternative routes, but I believe that these ideas will remain ideas in the forseeable future. As you say, a decent and possibly even ferry-free E39 has many supporters, even within influential lobby groups. A new shorter link between Trøndelag and (south-)western parts of Norway is not considered worthwhile.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthStar77 View Post
We didn't drive the whole way in one day. And when I think of it, we didn't drive from Oslo either. We spent two nights near Besseggen, since we walked it, then we spent one night at some friends that lives on the place before Filefjell. The next day, we had planned to drive to Bergen, only to stop in Lærdal, where I have family. But because we stopped for 3-4 hours, we had to spend the night in Voss, before finally driving to Bergen the next day. I think it is possible to drive Oslo-Bergen in 7 hours, if you don't have any stops.


I think it is 80km/h.


I haven't heard about any controlls on the 4 lane highways down here. Most people drive above the speedlimit on E6 towards Gardemoen and E18 in Vestfold. Many people, especially Audi-owners, drive 140-150 easily, and they get angry if you get in their way, even if you drive 120-130..



Btw, here are two photos from the trip back. This is 1/2 hour or so before entering the Lærdaltunnel driving from Bergen.


I was driving till Tromsoe,landscape in norway is beautiful,similar as in Austria,i spent my time by my Serbian friends living in Tromsoe,next time I will drive till Kirkenes and go over border with Russia,with a lot of photos!Bye!
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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #834
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New E18

A new stretch of motorway has just been opened south in Norway.
The road is part of the E18, the main road from Oslo to the fifth largest city in Norway, Kristiansand (pop 80.000). This new stretch is 38 km long and goes from the town of Grimstad to Kristiansand. The four lane road is built in demanding rolling terrain and conists of several bridges and seven tunnels.
AADT on this part of E18 is about 10.000, so there's plenty of space.
The road is tolled with an automatic toll-system and costs NOK 30 (Eur 3,50) to drive one way.





I've made some photos of the first segment, from Grimstad to the exit to Lillesand. This part is not the most interesting since the longest tunnels and bridges are located west of Lillesand. Still a nice little drive for a saturday afternoon.

The rest of the motorway is expected to open next weekend and I'll be back with more photos then.


We enter the new highway just west of Grimstad.




16 km to Lillesand.


First exit take you to road 420, former E18.


Here's the junction.




Resting area and information about Lillesand one km ahead.


The beauty of the automatic toll plaza is that you don't have to stop or even slow down to pass it.


This intersection, located right before the toll station, doesn't lead to any place. It's just two roundabouts, a bridge and a small rest area on the left side of the road. The junction was built with a future industrial area in mind.


Aww, my wallet hurts....






Nice bridge


This is the only tunnel on the stretch from Grimstad to Lillesand.


Lillesand exit, 1000 m.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #835
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So what have we learned so far in the political campaign about the Norwegian roads?

1. Even with full scale investments the highway network will have the required standards after atleast 25 years.
2. Botzwana actually has worse roads than Norway.
3. Norwegian road attourities are investing millions in replacing sign posts, so that people driving of the worst roads will hit signs that breaks easier so they don't hurt the people. I vote for full coverage of the road sides with pillows etc! Cheaper than building safe roads?
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Old August 31st, 2009, 09:18 PM   #836
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Bigger projects is the way to go to get more road for the money as we clearly see with the new E18 between Grimstad and Kristiansand.
The cost of this road (38km) is about the same as the new road between Os and Rådal in Bergen wich is only 13 km at a cost of 3,8 billion NOK, Crazy. I guess it's because of all the tunnels. Infrastructure in western Norway is realy expensive.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 01:07 AM   #837
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Here's some of the constructions on E18 Grimstad - Kristiansand (yeah I know my paint-skills are amazing!). 6 km of the road goes in tunnels and the highest bridge (up to the left) is 60 m tall. I'm not 100 % sure that a motorway built near Bergen has to cost three times as much as this...

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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:22 AM   #838
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Nice pics from E18 Your first pictures looks to be from a video... In that case, will you post that too?
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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:10 PM   #839
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Quote:
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I'm not 100 % sure that a motorway built near Bergen has to cost three times as much as this...
There is something fishy about this Os-Bergen project even if 11 of 13 km is tunnels there are no bridges like Kristiansand-Grimstad and the road costs three times as much(same with the new ringvei vest in Bergen). Looks like the less private competition for the project has it's impact on the costs.

Kort og dyrt i vest, langt og billig i sør

After this article was published the costs has increased by 400mill NOK.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 10:21 PM   #840
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It's not that much cheaper than other projects - compare it to for example E18 Vestfold, the Os-project is just insanly expensive, not the other way around.... The point is however not to let private build or not build - but to commit to longer stretches at once, as there are always private building roads trough biding anyway, but why would we need private funding for a motorway with worse interest-rate than what the state can get?
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