The long and winding road from Lapland to Norway gets upgrade
This winter has been busy along the snowy narrow road in Finland running towards the coast of the Barents Sea on the Norwegian side of the border. Busloads after busloads with Asian tourists traveling between the winter resorts of Inari, Ivalo and Saariselkä towards King Crab safaris in Kirkenes area.
Now, it is decided to give the road a long needed upgrade.
«This is very good,» Marja Männistö says to the Barents Observer. She is also happy about the decision to upgrade the road crossing the border from northernmost Finland to Russia’s Kola Peninsula at Raja-Jooseppi and Lotta.
Towards Norway, the 120 km long National Road 92 goes through the boreal forest in Finland’s northerneasternmost corner. This wilderness area can both be a spectacular nature view and challenging. But drivers need to be highly focused on road conditions along the winding route.
A €5 million grant is provided to the upgrade by the EU-financed Kolarctic programme for cross-border cooperation.
Norway’s Public Road Administration has recently also started to work out a plan on upgrading the last few kilometers of the road, from the borderline to European Highway E6 in the junction at Neiden. The highway continues further to Kirkenes on the coast of the Barents Sea.
In a statement, the road administration writes that this road, in addition to being an important connection between Norway and Finland, is also a part of the East-West connection between Northernwestern Russia and the Kirkenes area and by that the western part of the North Callotte.
The purpose of upgrading this road is to reduce accidents and improve mobility and traffic flow in winter conditions. There are also problems with vehicles hitting wild animals on this route.
Road construction work starts on the Finnish side this summer and is expected to be finished by 2021. Also the Norwegian side of the border-road is scheduled to be ready by 2021.