The Ring Road may be shortened by 40 kilometres (24 miles) in Southeast Iceland as a result of several construction projects, Vísir reports. The projects are being carried out by The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. Some are still on the drawing board while others are already underway.
The Ring Road, also known as Route 1, is a 1,332 km (828 mi) road around Iceland connecting most of its inhabited areas. The stretch of road where the construction projects are underway has several single-lane bridges, such as over Jökulsá í Lóni river. A new bridge over the river would be further downstream, shortening the road by 5 km (3.1 mi) or more.
One of the proposed projects in the area is a 3 km (1.8 mi) tunnel under Lónsheiði heath which would shorten the road by 12 km (7.5 mi). The stretch of road it would replace has a dangerous risk of rockfalls and is often closed due to excessive snowfall.
The Hvalfjörður Tunnel in West Iceland, for comparison, shortened the Ring Road by 42 km (26 mi) when it opened in 1998.