Some remaining work has been carried out during the autumn, such as the painting of the exterior and the underside of the steel box girder, as well as dismantling a tower crane from one of the bridge towers.
Reduced travel time
The Hardanger Bridge allows for reduced travel time between the two largest cities in Norway, Oslo and Bergen. However, it first and foremost provides improved daily communication between Inner Hardanger and the regional centre Voss, as well as to and from Bergen. Furthermore, the bridge contributes to improving the efficiency of the inner trunk road – northbound and southbound – in Western Norway.
As is the case with several other road projects, the Hardanger Bridge is, to a great extent, financed by road tolls. The toll for a single car weighing less than 3,500 kg is NOK 150. Heavier vehicles have to pay NOK 600 each time they drive across the bridge. Car owners who enter into agreements with the local toll operator are granted a 50% discount. Passengers travel free of charge. Consequently, coaches carrying tourists will save a considerable amount of money compared to the ferriage prior to 17 August 2013, when all passengers were charged a ferry fee.
Close to 4,000 people participated at the opening of the Hardanger Bridge on 17 August. Norway’s Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Liv Signe Navarsete, officiated the opening.