As many Norwegians took off to enjoy the start of the vacation season, the state highway department (Statens vegvesen) was expecting traffic congestion to be considerable this weekend and ahead of all those throughout the summer. They were recommending that travelers plan ahead for long delays and keep their heads cool.
The heavy traffic is partially due to the massive disruption in train service through the capital and last week’s accident in the Oslo Fjord tunnel, which has put that route out of service for at least two weeks. “There will likely be a lot of traffic every Friday throughout the summer, but this weekend will be special,” Finn Hammer, shift operator for the state highway department told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
Response police (utrykningspolitiet) and the state highway agency have a complete overview of potential trouble spots and roads prone to bottle-necking. Queues can be expected out of Oslo, state highway E18 has been narrowed to two lanes by Tønsberg and traffic will slow-going once travelers hit Telemark. East-bound travelers will be held up in Moss. The most congested roads will be those leading to vacation hot-spots, such as Hvaler in southeastern Norway.
“In many places, the roads have poor standards, in fact the quality of the roads varies a great deal. Drivers are often inattentive and apathic. In addition to this, there are a lot of on- and off-ramps along the entire state highway E18,” Tor Egil Syvertsen, head of the response police told NRK. Signs with updated information on traffic conditions will be posted along major roads.
It is recommended that travelers plan ahead, and try to avoid the worst of the congestion.”It might be a good idea to leave at a different time than most. If people have the opportunity to leave a little earlier on Friday, or postpone their excursion until Saturday, that might be an advantage,” suggests John Slinning, traffic operator for the state highway department.
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