Over 2,000 people have signed an online petition to fix the road to Borgarfjörður eystri, East Iceland, RÚV reports. The number of signatures has reached more that 20 times the number of the town’s residents in around one week.
The residents of Borgarfjörður eystri have been steadily decreasing in recent years, and now number around 80. The decreasing population led to the closure of the town’s only store in September of last year. A single, winding road is the only way in or out of the town, and it is in very poor condition. A 28 kilometre (17 mile) stretch of the road is unpaved and full of potholes.
According to the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, the estimated cost of repairing the road is ISK 1.5 billion (USD 15 million/EUR 12 million). This figure assumes the road will be repaired to its full width of 8 metres. An exception allowing for a narrower road, only 6.5 metres wide, has been granted and could cut the cost by up to one half.
“We will not let it go until the road is on the agenda,” said Eyþór Stefánsson, a spokesperson for the petition. “We could say that the first battle is won if road construction in Njarðvíkurskriður begins in the summer along with other projects there. But the war would still be long from over.”