State highway officials had some good news this week for motorists on the E18 highway running southwest from Oslo. Its new Skjeggestad Bridge near Holmestrand will reopen on July 4, earlier than expected, and thus restore the busy highway to four lanes, two in each direction.
The former two-lane bridge that provided the southbound lanes of the E18 collapsed after a dramatic mudslide in February of last year. It later had to be torn down and rebuilt in a project costing around NOK 165 million.
Traffic initially was detoured through the town of Holmestrand, leading to major traffic delays especially in the busy summer season. The E18 is the main artery leading down Norway’s southern coast and especially busy on weekends when Norwegians are traveling back and forth to summer homes along the coast.
Now the traffic is expected to run more smoothly. Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen is due to be on hand for the reopening ceremony on July 4.