Thousands drive over new Hardanger bridge

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A controversial new bridge over the scenic Hardanger Fjord already attracted more than 13,000 motorists just during its opening weekend. The traffic exceeds all expectations.

A view of the new Hardanger Bridge from a highway department's webcam. PHOTO: Statens vegvesen

A view of the new Hardanger Bridge from a highway department’s webcam on Tuesday. PHOTO: Statens vegvesen

The toll for a single car is NOK 150 (USD 25) and NOK 600 for a truck or trailer, and that may well curtail traffic after the weekend of free driving ended on Monday.  More than 4,000 vehicles crossed the bridge from 3pm to midnight on its opening day Saturday, though, and another 8,946 cars on Sunday. Around 3,000 motorists paid the full tolls on Monday.

All told, highway officials said they were amazed at the interest and traffic over the new bridge and road between Ulvik and Ullensvang. It’s been blasted by environmentalists but local officials claim it signals “a new era” for Hardanger because it will serve both tourists and speed the transport of goods and services.

It cost NOK 2.5 billion to build the bridge, which replaced a ferry route and now ranks as Norway’s largest suspension bridge.

newsinenglish.no staff