Infamous for being the road that drives you bananas, the E105 heading northwest from Murmansk is hardly possible to recognize. Intensive road construction work and paving new layers of road surface have been going on for the last few years. On Tuesday, the new road between Zapolyarny towards Gulf Stream a few kilometers from the Norwegian border opened.
The road distance between Murmansk and the border to Norway is now 25 kilometers shorter.
The last few kilometers of the road to the border check-point was upgraded some few years ago. The check-points Borisoglebsk on the Russian side and Storskog on the Norwegian side are the bottleneck for travelers between east and west. Within a few years, both border check-points will be upgraded. First out is Borisoglebsk with Kolarctic funding, followed by Storskog where Norway’s new government on Monday promised to increase capacity.
With the new E105 road to Zapolyarny, drivers will no longer need to go around the more southern located town of Nikel. The new drives save some 15 minutes and the road is class-one highway. Drivers also save some minutes in Pechenga, where the new road and bridge over the river opened in September. New asphalt paving east of Zapolyarny all the way to the military garrison town of Sputnik makes the drive even more comfortable.
A new wider bridge over the Titovka River further east will soon open.
On the Norwegian side, upgrades of E105 between Storskog check-point and the Pasvik River was ready in August. Next summer, the construction work for the last few kilometers of the highway towards E6 in Kirkenes will start. That includes both a new 270 meters long bridge over the mouth of the Pasvik River and a tunnel under the residential area west of the bridge.