From Iceland — Business Owners Unhappy With Continued Construction

Business Owners Unhappy With Continued Construction

Published September 23, 2013

Larissa Kyzer

Local business owners are unhappy with the continuing roadwork and construction on Hverfisgata, a main street in downtown Reykjavík, Vísir reports. Pálmi Bergmann, the owner of the Úðafoss dry cleaner on Vitastígur, notes that the construction has not gone according to schedule. “At the start in July, they said they would be finished by the first of September. It was understood from the start that that wouldn’t be the case,” he said. “The last I heard, the construction would be finished by the first of October, but I don’t see that happening.”
Hverfisgata is currently closed between Klapparstígur and Vitastígur. The construction project is extensive: street surface and sidewalks are being refinished, the bike path is being paved, intersections are being cobbled and a thermal infrastructure is also being installed under sidewalks, to aid with snow and ice melt during the winter. According to the city office, sewage problems on Vitastígur have caused unforeseeable delays in the completion of the project.
Although these improvements will likely be appreciated by many downtown residents when they are completed, there have been ongoing complaints about how the process has been handled by the city. Jakob F. Magnússon, director of the residents association Our Downtown, sent a letter of complaint to Ólöf Örvarsdóttir, the department director of the city’s Environmental and Planning Department in July, saying that the construction has “caused mayhem in the area.”

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