Norway's largest road project E39 Hordfast in another breach of trust


Our new revelation of Erna Solbergs og The government's manipulation of the project.


On Friday, the news broke in NRK about how the Government has kept secret toll figures which are clearly detrimental to the 35-billion road project "E39 Hordfast" in Hordaland.
In the news story «Withheld toll figures about the giant project on the E39» is interviewed Erna Solberg, the state secretary in the Ministry of Transport and the country's foremost researcher on quality assurance of, among other things, large road projects - engaged by the client, the Department of Finance, NTNU man Morten Welde. We are also interviewed to reveal the secrecy. Erna Solberg has had Hordfast as her most important political issue in her home county.

The news story is based on our long-standing ongoing investigative work also in this major road project in Hordaland.

The country's largest planned single road project "E39 Hordfast", between Os and Stord, has been pursued and scrutinized by us since the idea of the project was launched in Bergen in 1992.

From the outset, we warned that this major project would also be undressed by us. Our warning was marked through Kurt Oddekalv's sudden extinguishing during the lighting of the 4 large altar candles that the initiators per boss, planning manager Eggen from Hordaland Vegkontor, so theatrically used during the launch press conference. Each light was supposed to symbolize why the Fergefri E39 project, including the Hordfast project, was irresistible, and above all trusted, and had to go ahead of other urgent road projects in Western Norway.

At the time, the Hordfast project was estimated at NOK 5 billion. Our warnings that the cost side was unrealistic have subsequently taken effect. According to the latest official figures, the cost is now NOK 35 billion. The project needs a formidable 25 billion in state funds. Funds that we believe must instead be moved to the huge backlog in the maintenance of bridges and road facilities that have been built plus landslide protection as well as "yellow stripe" between the ferry berths on the E39 along the Vestland coast. Public transport had also received a nice boost by placing the state funds there. Likewise, an optimized ferry service.

The Hordfast supporters led by Erna Solberg have consistently kept quiet about the size of the state contribution. The concealment is serious as they have instead, seriously misleadingly, made up the project, among other things in the national media, that it will mainly be paid for with tolls.

Four major opinion polls conducted by "NRK", "Bergensavisen" and "Bergens Tidende" the last 4 years show that the vast majority support our view. And the vast majority believe that the state Hordfastmidlen should rather go to securing E16 Arna-Voss. The Hordfast advocates led by Erna Solberg have in a cunning and brutal way opposed this Hordfast rival in terms of grants and case management. This was exposed, among other things, when Solberg refused to comment in the media, including NRK's big crash on E16 4 years ago. The Bergen–Oslo highway was then closed for over 1 week. It was a miracle that this, and earlier many landslides, did not cost human lives. Nor did Solberg bother to thank the heroic cleaning crews who undertook the dangerous work of reopening the Europaveien. Nor on Facebook or Twitter did she mention this very serious incident in her home county/constituency. The E16 stretch was named by NRK-Riks ii in collaboration with, among others, NAF last spring, sit. "the country's worst stretch of road". Norway's Truck Owners' Association, Trygg Trafikk and NAF have all pointed out that Erna Solberg's monstrous dream must give way to more important unresolved hunger-lined tasks within the road sector in Hordaland.

But Solberg & Co. believes it is more important to build Hordfast, despite the fact that, in contrast to the E16 Arna-Voss, there has never been a landslide and there have been week-long closures on the E39 between Os and Stord.

Hordfast is designated by the state nature management as that, sit. "probably the largest natural intervention in Hordaland in modern times" in other words, the irreparable damage is greater than, for example, the power lines in Hardanger also called "Sima-Samnanger case". The ferry alternative thus provides the greatest nature and landscape benefit in Hordaland in modern times, in the same fjord landscape (called "The Fjords") which is twice named as , sit. "The World's Leading Nature-Based Travel Destination" - by a panel/jury of 437 knowledgeable people selected by National Geographic Traveller. The main justification for the award is, sit. "The authenticity of the landscape". The ferry connections between Os and Tysnes and Stord through the pearl Bjørnefjorden are among the country's finest highway cruises. The connection E39 Os-Stord today has a large excess capacity in relation to the amount of traffic almost throughout the year.

From the new year, today's very good and fast ferry offer will be further strengthened on the E39 between Os and Stord with the introduction of Autopass and 4 (compared to the current 3) fixed ferries in a shuttle on the connection.

Erna Solberg & Co. has always kept quiet about the fact that - despite the good ferry service - it only runs approx. 2,500 vehicles on average per day on the E39 section the 35 billion project is intended to replace.

Never has anyone in our country thought of planning such an exceptionally large road project on such an extremely fragile and important: cyclical traffic basis, where stagnation and decline were expected within "the oil" from about 2022, further coupled with the announced stagnation in population growth in the project's area of influence, coupled with a very high overall toll burden, Stord-Bergen would hit the Hordfas project hard if it were built.

Solberg and her disciples have kept quiet about the fact that a full 74 % of the road users are not so-called "commercial traffic" but so-called "leisure traffic" i.e. traffic to/from christenings, weddings, funerals, confirmations, sports, cabins, visits, tourists. More than any other hidden fact, this figure reveals why the monster project is moving ever closer to the precipice we first warned against in 1992.

Also NRK's revealing news story last week under the title "Withheld toll figures about the giant project on the E39" is a new reminder of how far the sitting Government led by the Hordeling Erna Solberg is willing to go to ignore the opinion polls mentioned above in order to manipulate the project through. Solberg has long had the project as his foremost political issue in his home county.


Listen to the radio interview with Per Nordø from 28/09/2018:
Hidden Hordfast numbers

Case on NRK:
Withheld toll figures about the giant project on the E39

NRK P1 Hordaland 3 October:
Criticizes Hordfast's investigation

NRK P1 Hordaland 5 October:
Include environmental voices


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