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Biggest summer for roadworks in over a decade

10.06.2021 - 11:05
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 Mynd: Jón Þór Víglundsson - RÚV
The head of Vegagerðin (the Road and Coastal Administration) says that this summer’s programme of roadworks around Iceland will be the biggest since at least before the banking crash of 2008-9. More than 35 billion krónur will be spent overall, including 23 billion on new developments and 12-14 billion on maintenance and repairs.

Among the biggest projects are changes to Route 1 at Kjalarnes and Suðurlandsvegur, where opposing lanes will be separated following several serious accidents in recent years. 

“It’s okay to say that these actions coming in now and actions already taken, for example on Suðurlandsvegur, to increase safety between traffic streams, are originally done with smaller actions, but the accident frequency has fallen dramatically. Of course, it is safety matters we are always thinking of. It is one big driver in road development, that the roads should be easily passable and safe,” says Vegagerðin head Bergþóra Þorkelsdóttir. 

In both locations, the road is being set up as 2+1, but prepared so that it can easily be changed to 2+2 if traffic requires in the future. By doing it in two stages like this, Vegagerðin hopes to better-use its funding. 

A new bridge over Ölfusá is also in the works, and the project has started to some degree, because excess material from Suðurlandsvegur has been used in preparation works at the new bridge site. 

“The tender for the bridge remains outstanding and will go into so-called private development, and that is a long process. I expect we might start it this year, as a private agency will be charged with designing the bridge and the development work and payments to the agency will be financed with tolls.” 

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Alexander Elliott
Fréttastofa RÚV