Residents of East Iceland’s Nordurfjördur organized a protest yesterday afternoon by the old Oddsskarðsgöng tunnel seperating Eskifjördur town and Neskaupsstadur town; residents are frustrated with plans of new and improved tunnel being delayed by the Icelandic Icelandic Road Administration.
Map of the area. The gray line indicates the new tunnel and the red line the current road system.
Locals disagree with a recent announcement from the Icelandic Road Administration where it was stated that “the tunnel is safe.”
“Inside the one-way tunnel is a sharp turn and it is impossible to see oncoming traffic. People drive through the tunnel with trailers of all sizes and there are always those who simply won’t give way to oncoming traffic forcing drivers to reverse out of the tunnel, something cars pulling heavy trailers are reluctant to do. The situation becomes impossible when trucks with heavy trailers meet in the middle,” Siggi Jenssen, a spokesperson for locals told Morgunbladid.
There is also the question of passengers security as heavy boulders have rolled down the slope landing in a security net that has been placed for that purpose; locals worry about their safety.
It was a representative of the Icelandic Social Democratic party and parliament member Kristján L. Möller who said on his Facebook site that “he’d like to auction the project as soon as possible.” He claimed there was ISK 1,5 billion (USD 12.9 millions or EUR 9.1 millions) set aside in Transportation plans for 2011 and 2012.
The Minister of the Interior told Morgunbladid that it had been irresponsible of Parliament member Kristján L. Möller to say “there was funding available already for the new Nordfjardargöng tunnel to be built.
“We simply do not have the money to build a new tunnel at this point in time. The tunnel will be built as soon as possible but not for another few years,” Ögmundur Jónsasson told Morgunbladid.
“I don’t know what possessed him to say what he said on his Facebook site as we were both present when Althingi (the Icelandic Parliament) voted on the matter,” Jónasson concluded.
G. Pétur Matthíasson, PR officer for the Icelandic Road Administration said the next tunnel to be built is the Nordfjardargöng, Morgunbladid confirmed.
Click here to see a larger map.