The town of Garðabær is reportedly pressuring the government to carry on with construction plans for a road through a protected lava field.
Skástrik reports that construction of the proposed road Álftanesvegur – which will, in part, pass through the protected Gálgahraun lava field – could cost up to 1 billion ISK. However, direct action protests have delayed construction of the road.
This has led to Garðabær town officials’ growing concerns that should construction be halted, residents of the neighbourhood Garðahraun could sue the town for damages.
Supreme Court lawyer Skúli Bjarnason recently wrote an open letter to the Ministry of the Interior calling for a meeting, adding that the ministry ought to “take control of [Vegagerðin] before things go bad.”
The ministry responded in turn that they cannot get involved with stopping a construction project after it has already begun without risking having to pay significant damages. They recommend instead that protesters speak directly with Vegagerðin.
While numerous environmental groups then filed a joint complaint with Reykjavík County Seat to halt construction, their request was denied. The matter has now been submitted to Reykjavík District Court.
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