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Monday, July 15, 2024

Transport Minister steps on the gas again

Norway’s new transport minister from the Progress Party, Ketil Solvik-Olsen, has managed to bypass congestion on another new stalled highway project. His goal is to streamline and speed up the country’s notoriously slow road construction.

It was just last month that Solvik-Olsen could offer relief to the thousands of motorists who’ve been stuck in heavy traffic congestion for years on the E18 highway between Oslo and Kristiansand. He released more funding to allow a crucial section of the highway just south of Tønsberg to be finished before the heavy summer holiday traffic begins, instead of in November as scheduled.

Now he’s targeted another section of the E18, this time between Tvedestrand and Arendal in Aust-Agder County. Solvik-Olsen could announce this week that Norway’s new conservative government had boosted funding by NOK 80 million to accelerate construction of a four-lane highway in the area where it’s still an inadequate and potentially dangerous two-lane road.

The piecemeal approach to highway construction in Norway is a major reason for the decades it can take to improve roads in the country, and Solvik-Olsen is tackling that, too. For now, he’s trying to get the piecemeal projects already on the books completed, bit by bit. staff



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