European route E4

European route E4 passes from north to south through Sweden from the frontier with Finland, total length convert|1590|km. The Finnish part lies entirely within Tornio in northern Finland, and is actually only convert|800|m|mi long. The Swedish part, however, goes through most of Sweden except the extreme north, and it is commonly considered the highway backbone of Sweden, since it passes in the immediate vicinity of all the major cities and large towns except four (these being Gothenburg, Malmö, Västerås and Örebro), but including Stockholm, the dominant city of Sweden.

From Haparanda on the Finnish border, it stretches south along the Gulf of Bothnia to Gävle, then on a more inland route southwards. It ends in Helsingborg in Sweden, at the port for the ferry to Elsinore in Denmark. In the new system of European routes, it was planned to have been a part of E55, but it remains in the pre-1992 designation (E4) within Sweden, becauseFact|date=February 2007 the expenses connected with re-signing this long road portion would be too large. Besides the signs along the road, there are thousands of signs, especially in cities, showing how to reach the E4 road. The road is now fully authorized as E4 by the relevant authority, not as E55.

North of Gävle the road is of mixed standard. Depending on the fashion at the time of construction it is either a single standard carriageway road, usually convert|8|-|13|m wide, or a 2+1 road, a convert|13|-|14|m wide road with two lanes in one direction and one in the other with a steel wire barrier in between, or sometimes a motorway with two lanes in each direction.

South of Gävle, the road is almost a continuous motorway. On October 17, 2007, the final stretch of the motorway between Uppsala and Mehedeby was opened. This project was started in 2002. The speed limit is convert|110|km/h|mi/h|0|abbr=on on 70 % of the road north of Gävle, and 90 % south of Gävle.

The E4 is the fastest road to go from Germany/Denmark to areas north of the arctic circle, including places in Norway like Tromsø. To go from Helsingborg to the North Cape, the fastest road is E4 to Luleå, then E10/road 392/road 403 to Kolari at the Swedish/Finnish border, then E8 and road 93 to Alta and on.

While in Sweden, this route passes through or nearby the cities

Haparanda,
Luleå,
Skellefteå,
Umeå,
Örnsköldsvik,
Härnösand,
Sundsvall,
Hudiksvall,
Söderhamn,
Gävle,
Uppsala,
Märsta,
Stockholm,
Nyköping,
Norrköping,
Linköping,
Jönköping,
Ljungby,
Helsingborg.


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