The World Heritage site,The Royal Domain of Drottningholm stands on the east side of Lovö island by road 261 in the county of Ekerö. Stockholm bypass project are planning for entrances and exits from the tunnel system at the west side of the island. The Swedish Transport Administration claims that the bypass will take the pressure off traffic on road 261 past the Royal Domain of Drottningholm. The Swedish Transport Administration is still to present a second Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), this time hopefully objective and true to UNESCO guidelines.
The population of Ekerö county has increased year by year. For commuters there is only one road leading from Ekerö, a county of islands, into Stockholm county. Thinking ”out of the box” one could utilize the waterways but as the plans stands: ”add lanes to road 261 and wait till 2025 for Stockholm bypass to solve the problem”.
No one knows how motorists will utilize Stockholm bypass/road 261 junction in 2025. The opening of a new road generally generates more traffic and fills up surprisingly fast. For this scenario E4 The Swedish Transport Administration solution is: “we temporarily close down the exit towards Stockholm city and lead traffic to the next junction”.
Two different Natura 2000 protection areas will be exposed to high nitrogen depositions and both are at risk of water shortage.
5 out of 8 nature and culture reserves located within the municipality of Stockholm and the island of Lovö will be affected by extreme noise during the 10 year construction period, be it pile driving, blasting or heavy transports. When the bypass opens for traffic poor air quality and loss of groundwater will in time reduce the variety of biotopes.
The third largest lake in Sweden is used for transportation of goods, commercial fishing and all year round recreation both on land and water. The eastern part is the freshwater supply for the Stockholm metropolitan area, about 2 million people. The lake is already under heavy ecological strain. E4 The Stockholm bypass is largely being built within the “East Mälaren Water Protection Area”.
Effects on peoples lives
Building the bypass
The Stockholm bypass will be built at seven locations at the same time, all causing noise, air pollution and barrier effects. People will have to live next to huge construction sites for 10 years. The removal of millions of tons of blasted rock and dirt affects the whole region with heavy transports both on land and water.
During 10 years the people most affected by construction work close to their homes will find their regular recreation areas and public beaches by lake Mälaren also covered with noise pollution from blasting, extraction and transport of stone from temporary harbors. At three of the seven constructions areas around Stockholm stone is taken away by barge instead of trucks. Barges are supposedly better for the environment but the harbors are all located in nature reserves in the middle of a water protection area.
The bypass in operation.
Long stretches of E4 The Stockholm bypass passes under nature reserves and lake Mälaren where its effects wont be immediately visible. The exhaust towers and utility stations will be designed to blend in with the landscape. The Stockholm bypass project presents statistic of lives saved in the inner city and how this makes up for the estimated 20 deaths per year caused by commuting in unfiltered and highly polluted tunnel air.
The Stockholm bypass will affect the health of people living next to exits, exhaust towers and in the areas where the expressway comes up above ground, mainly low income and immigrant areas. The mortality rate will increase even further in these areas. Traffic will also cause stress, respiratory problems, sleep disorders and in general lower the quality of life.
Images from Trafikverket.
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