Finnish national road 5
|Valtatie 5, Riksväg 5|
|Maintained by the Finnish road Administration|
|Length:||907 km (564 mi)|
|Major cities:||Mikkeli, Kuopio, Kajaani, Kuusamo, Kemijärvi|
|Highways in Finland|
The Finnish National road 5 (Finnish:Valtatie 5 or Vitostie, Swedish: Riksväg 5) is a main route between Heinola and Sodankylä. The road runs from Heinola's Lusi to Sodankylä and it is 907 kilometres long. The condition of the road is less than expected from a national road, but construction to improve it is currently ongoing at several parts. National road 5 doubles as E63 between Kuopio's Vehmasmäki and Sodankylä.
The first part of the road between Lusi and Mikkeli was rebuilt in the 1990s and the 2000s (decade). There is one short length of 2+2 laned road at Mikkeli, but the part between Mikkeli and Joroinen needs updating because it does not meet modern requirements. The next part between Joroinen and Varkaus has been constructed up to the national road standard and there is a 9 kilometer long bypass at Varkaus. Also, the next part of the road between Joroinen and Leppävirta is in good condition and many bypasses have been constructed, but the part from Leppävirta to Kuopio's Humaljoki is not in a good condition. At Humaljoki, national road 5 continues as a motorway, with the exception of the Kallansillat drawbridges in Kuopio. The drawbridges are opened often, as often as 300–400 times every summer. For this reason, building of a new bridge near the old one began in 2010. When the road passes Siilinjärvi, it changes back to the normal two-laned road, next part between Siilinjärvi and Iisalmi is like the normal national road. It runs along the Savonrata railway its whole length to Iisalmi. There is a bypass of Iisalmi town center via east. After Iisalmi, the road continues as a two-lane road due to smaller traffic volumes. From Iisalmi to Kemijärvi via Kajaani, the national road has almost the same traffic volume and same condition. After Kemijärvi, there is less traffic and the road construction does not meet national road standards.
The road runs through the following municipalities: Heinola – Pertunmaa – Mäntyharju – Hirvensalmi – Mikkeli – Juva – Joroinen – Varkaus – Leppävirta – Kuopio – Siilinjärvi – Lapinlahti – Iisalmi – Sonkajärvi – Kajaani – Paltamo – Ristijärvi – Hyrynsalmi – Suomussalmi – Taivalkoski – Kuusamo – Posio – Salla – Kemijärvi – Pelkosenniemi – Sodankylä.
- A band called Aavikko has written a song about National road 5 called "Viitostie".
- Because of National road 5's high traffic accident statistics, several Finnish tabloid magazines have named National road 5 "the road of death" (Finnish: "Viitostie, kuoleman tie").
Media related to National road 5 (Finland) at Wikimedia Commons