Hédinsfjardargöng, a tunnel connecting the neighboring towns Ólafsfjördur and Siglufjördur of Fjallabyggd municipality in north Iceland, formally opens on Saturday. It will be a revolution in transport on Tröllaskagi peninsula.
Siglufjördur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Until now, Hédinsfjördur fjord was only accessible by hiking across high mountains or sailing into the fjord, Morgunbladid reports.
In summer the mountain road across Lágheidi connects Ólafsfjördur and Siglufjördur but it is usually closed in winter. People commuting between the two towns must then drive all the way around Tröllaskagi via Hofsós.
Hédinsfjardargöng are in fact two tunnels, a 3.9-kilometer long tunnel between Siglufjördur and Hédinsfjördur and a 7.1-kilometer long tunnel between Hédinsfjödur and Ólafsfjördur.
Between the two tunnels in Hédinsfjördur there is a pit stop where travelers can park their cars and enjoy the view. A natural paradise has now become accessible to the general public. “It is such a beautiful fjord, there is a lake and a river rich in trout and the berry land is incredible,” said Bjarni Thorgeirsson, landowner in Hédinsfjördur.
There are around 20 landowners in Hédinsfjördur and there are a few summerhouses there. However, Thorgeirsson said it isn’t planned to construct more houses there because the area is very dangerous in winter due to the risk of avalanches.
Thorgeirsson said some landowners don’t welcome the tunnel as they wanted to keep “their fjord” a secret. “Of course it would have been great to keep it the way it was,” he agreed, then adding: “But for whom? I doubt that more than one or two percent of Siglufjördur and Ólafsfjördur inhabitants have come to Hédinsfjördur, let alone other countrymen.”
“I’m happy to share it with my countrymen and hope that as many people as possible will pass through, observe it and take walks,” Thorgeirsson concluded.
Hédinsfjördur, the northernmost fjord on Tröllaskagi, is six kilometers long and fenced off by the mountains Hestfjall to the west and Hvanndalabyrda to the east.
In the early 20th century the fjord was inhabited by approximately 50 people from five farms but due to avalanche risks and changes to the economy the farms were abandoned—the last inhabitant moved away in 1951.
Locals have been looking forward to the tunnel. A group of knitters killed time by knitting a 17-kilometer long scarf to connect the towns through the tunnel in a “warm manner”.
Click here to read about a tunnel that recently opened in the West Fjords, leading past one of the most dangerous roads in the country.