From Iceland — Low Clearance Bar Strikes Again

Low Clearance Bar Strikes Again

Published November 7, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Atli Rúnar Halldórsson

The notorious low clearance bar at the Hvalfjörður tunnel has claimed another victim, which could have ended in disaster for many others.

A truck bearing timber recently attempted to enter the Hvalfjörður tunnel, only to have the top of its load caught by the low clearance bar, sending timber tumbling onto the road below. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured in the accident.

Maríno Tryggvason, the security manager at Spölur, which runs the tunnel, told RÚV that this is “one of the more serious incidents that I’ve seen”. Damage is estimated to be in the millions.


This is not the first time the low clearance bar has struck. Last July, the driver of a moving truck was making its way through the Hvalfjörður Tunnel without incident, up until the point it reached the tunnel’s end. At that point, its 4.2 metre height – well over the legal maximum for the tunnel – brought matters to their predictable end.


The driver reportedly voluntarily gave himself up to the truck company’s insurance company, and the police have not been immediately involved. However, there was only a small difference between an unfortunate miscalculation of height and what could have been a major pile-up in the tunnel – a centimeter or two more, and the clearance bar could have been completely severed, falling to the road.

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