Norway builds cross-border tunnel to Russia

The town of Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents Region and the gateway to the East. (iStock)
The town of Kirkenes is known as the capital of the Barents Region and the gateway to the East. (iStock)
A 690 meter long tunnel will be part of new infrastructure connecting the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes with Russia.

The tunnel and adjacent roads will cost a total of 270 million Norwegian kroner (€ 33,2 million) and be completed in fall 2016, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration informs.

The project also includes the construction of a new bridge across the Pasvik River, as well as several kilometers of new highways in the area.

The new tunnel will be named the “Trifon tunnel” after the holy Russian-Orthodox munch, who lived in the area in the 16th century.

Cross-border travel

The new piece of infrastructure will significantly smoothen travelling between the two countries and facilitate an additional increase in the number of travelers. Following a more than 300 percent increase in cross-border travelers over the last five years, both road infrastructure and the border crossing points have long been under increasing pressure.

Also Russia has invested significant money into infrastructure developments in the area, and the Russian border crossing point of Borisoglebsk now have a brand new road leading towards the town of Zapolyarny. Also the road further to Murmansk has undergone major upgrades.

The new roads will nicely be complemented by the construction of new border crossing points on both sides of the border. Russia will start the construction of its new Borisoglebsk point in 2015, and Norway is expected to follow suit not long after.

The E105 is the only road connecting Norway and Russia.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s N.W.T. seeks $600 million for roads, bridges, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s pay-as-you-go road tax runs into roadblock, Yle News

Russia:  Arctic infrastructure cannot keep pace, Deutsche Welle: Ice-Blog

Sweden: Traffic reductions necessary for Sweden to reach climate goals, Radio Sweden

United States:  Tackling ‘frost boils’ on Alaska’s Arctic Highway, Alaska Dispatch


Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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