From Iceland — Hverfisgata Renovation Begins; Not Everyone Thrilled

Hverfisgata Renovation Begins; Not Everyone Thrilled

Published July 18, 2013

The city has begun in earnest to make major changes to Hverfisgata that they hope will improve the quality of life downtown, but not everyone is pleased with the execution.
Reykjavík city council has long planned to renovate Hverfisgata, which runs parallel to Laugavegur. Yesterday, the city posted an announcement about the construction on their website. They say that the blocks of Hverfisgata between Vatnsstígur and Klapparstígur will be completely re-constructed. Changes to the street will include a bike lane, a complete revewal of asphalt and pavement alike, and ice-prevention tubes laid under the street. Bus service, for those wondering, will continue on Hverfisgata when construction is complete.
While these changes might be welcome to many city residents, not everyone is happy with how the plans were executed. Vísir reports that Jakob F. Magnússon, director of the residents association Our Downtown, sent a letter to Ólöf Örvarsdóttir, the department director of the Environmental and Planning Department for the city, expressing his misgivings.
“[The construction] caused mayhem in the area,” he wrote in part, saying that he witnessed drivers making U-turns when they reached fenced-off areas of the street, and said that his taxi driver was “surprised and annoyed” by the changes.
The city expects that construction will be completed by the end of November.

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