Parliament has recently begun discussions of one of the Icelandic countryside’s defining characteristics: the single-lane bridge.
RÚV reports that Progressive MP Vigdís Hauksdóttir recently posed a formal question to the Minister of the Interior on the subject of single-lane bridges. The question was related to the currently hot topic of tourist safety, as a fatal accident last December involved tourists and occurred on one such bridge, while another fatal accident involving Icelanders happened earlier this month.
According to data gathered by the Ministry, there are in total 715 single-lane bridges in Iceland, and 39 of them can be found on the Ring Road. Of those, 30 can be found on the 300-kilometre stretch between Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Djúpavogur.
While many of these bridges are pleasant enough to look at, perhaps even iconic, 197 of Iceland’s single-lane bridges allow the maximum driving speed, or 90 KPH.
The Ministry estimates it would cost 30 billion ISK to replace these particular single-lane bridges with two-lane ones, while leaving the speed limit the same. However, it would only cost 13 billion ISK to make similar changes to all the single-lane bridges on the Ring Road.
No formal decision to change these bridges has yet been made.