Center Party blasts productivity moves

Norway’s small, rural-oriented Center Party has, as expected, blasted proposals presented this week that are aimed at boosting productivity. The party’s leader called them “an attack on Norwegian society.” Trygve Slagsvold Vedum claimed that the proposals of a professional commission, appointed by the government to help Norway get more out of its huge public sector investment, would […]

Growth demands ‘political brutality’

It’s time to change the way public sector investments from roads to schools are chosen and managed in Norway, Finance Minister Siv Jensen was told on Tuesday. An expert group led by a professor from Trondheim dashed politics that favour development in outlying areas over cities,  and said the government will need to exert some “political brutality” in […]

Cities finally set to get more priority

After decades of spending billions on bridges and roads in outlying districts of Norway, state politicians finally may start investing more in urban areas where the need for improvements is acute. Prime Minister Erna Solberg signaled more support this week for cities that continue to attract the strongest population growth. Solberg, speaking at the annual conference of the […]

Oslo’s population predicted to boom

The population of Oslo is expected to grow by 34.3 percent or 208,000 residents over the next 20 years. It would take the capital’s total population to around 852,000 residents, with most of the initial growth expected to be driven by immigration. Oslo municipality’s Improvement and Development Agency (Utviklings- og kompetanseetat) and Statistics Norway (Statistisk […]

State cancels contract with bankrupt construction firm

Norway’s state highway department (Statens Vegvesen) has cancelled all three contracts it had with bankrupt Austrian construction firm Alpine Bau, after the firm’s bankruptcy estate failed to respond to inquiries about its future operations. Both the highway department and the state railroad (Jernbaneverket) feared lengthy delays on three major construction projects for which Alpine Bau […]

Bankruptcy halts major projects

The bankruptcy last week of an Austrian construction firm is causing problems for some major road projects in Norway. Work stopped on the expansion of the E6 highway near Minnesund, for example, and on an E6 bridge near the northern city of Alta. The disruption of projects from the far north to the southern part […]

Vandalism halts trains’ comeback

Another summer of major train service disruption in the Oslo area ended on Monday, when the rails re-opened on schedule after six weeks of repairs and improvements. One of the main lines north of Oslo, however, came to a screeching halt almost immediately because of vandalism that could have led to a fatal derailment. An early […]

Rain causing sewer problems as well

The heavy rains of the summer and early autumn of 2011 have sparked floods, blocked roads, halted train traffic and wiped out farmers’ crops. Now it seems the deluge is highlighting serious inadequacies in the sewage systems for towns and cities all over the country. The drainage infrastructure in many areas from Hedmark County in […]

Norway unprepared for wetter climate

A special climate commission, appointed to advise government officials on climate and environmental issues, has determined that Norway is vulnerable to a warmer, wetter climate in the years ahead. The commission, which delivered its report to Environmental Minister Erik Solheim this week, claimed that Norwegian roads, train tracks, buildings and sewer systems aren’t in good […]

Roads will continue to deteriorate

Despite government promises to improve Norway’s sub-standard highway system, fully a third of the country’s roads are in “poor” or “extremely poor” condition. State highway officials admit the deterioration will likely continue because funding still isn’t high enough to meet demands. For decades, state politicians allowed the nation’s roads to fall into disrepair, and they […]