Why motorway lanes in Norway could get narrower

Why motorway lanes in Norway could get narrower
Illustration photo: Bernt Rostad/Flickr
The government is to allow construction of new four-lane dual carriageway roads with smaller lanes to be allowed on some stretches.

Four-lane roads in Norway could soon be built on quieter stretches, but with smaller lanes than busier motorways. Roads termed ‘four-lane' (firefeltsveier) have four lanes in total – in other words, two in each direction.

Currently, roads which see traffic of between 6,000-12,000 vehicles daily are built as two or three-lane roads, but four-lane roads are now to be permitted on stretches of road with this type of traffic flow, Norwegian news agency NTB reports.

Four-lane roads with these traffic levels will be required to have a total width of 19.0 to 21.5 meters in total, including emergency lane widths of between 1.5 and 2 metres, according to NTB’s report. The speed limit of the four-lane roads will be a maximum of 110 kilometres per hour.

New regulations will make also it possible to build narrower four-lane roads on stretches with traffic of 12,000-20,000 vehicles daily. On these roads, the total width must be 20.0-23.0 metres, including emergency lanes of 2-2.75 metres. The speed limit for these roads is also 110 kilometres per hour.

“We are interested in listening to the experts. That’s why we follow the recommendations of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens vegvesen) on introducing the option of building narrow four-lane roads. This gives greater flexibility for extending Norwegian roads and can increase the economic benefit for society of several projects,” transport minister Knut Arild Hareide told NTB.

“As such, we will get more for everyone’s money,” Hareide added.

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