New year, new cash. Excavators and dump trucks are back in business on Russia’s road towards the Norwegian border.
After nearly a year on pause; the construction work is now in full swing on the last 17 kilometers between Turbaza checkpoint and the border checkpoint Borisoglebsk.
European Highway E105 (M18) has been under upgrade for the last 10 years. Linking the Kola Peninsula with Kirkenes in Norway, the road is the only Highway linking Russia with a NATO-country in northern Europe.
Three years ago, the part of the road from Zapolyarny to Turbaza checkpoint opened after two years of construction. With the new standards, the road is 12 meters wide and has very few curves. It is expected that the last 17 kilometers towards the Norwegian border will be ready by 2018.
Opening date unchanged
Road authorities in Murmansk assure that the one-year pause in work will not delay the planned opening.
Also the Norwegian part of E105 sees serious upgrade. Two years ago, the upgraded road from the border to the Pasvik River opened, and construction work now goes on along the last few kilometers towards E6 outside Kirkenes. A tunnel and a new bridge will shorten the distance and improve the quality of the road.
The tunnel is ready, but can’t open before the bridge is ready. That will take another two years time, so that the Russian and Norwegian parts of the cross-border highway are completed by 2018.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: The geometries of Arctic all-weather road construction, Blog by Mia Bennett
Norway: Norway delays bridge-building to Russia on road to Crimea, Barents Observer
Russia: Murmansk, Russia: Transport hub trouble, again, Barents Observer
Norway: Norway improving infrastructure on Arctic island, Barents Observer
United States: Record permafrost erosion in Alaska bodes ill for Arctic infrastructure, Deutsche Welle Ice-blogger