From Iceland — East Icelanders, Fed Up With Busted Roads, Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

East Icelanders, Fed Up With Busted Roads, Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

Published February 20, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Helga Björg Eiríksdóttir

When national authorities ignored a badly damaged road connecting an east Iceland village to the rest of the country, these Icelanders decided to take it upon themselves to pave the way.

Borgarfjörður Eystri, a village of about 100 people, lies on the east coast of Iceland. Its main connection with the rest of the country is a single unpaved road which connects to Egilsstaðir, the closest town. However, the road in question is riddled with potholes, rendering travel a bit challenging.

Villagers have been pleading with national authorities for months to repair the road, to no avail, but Vísir reports they have now taken the matter into their own hands.

About 60 villagers showed up yesterday to both protest the conditions and to take part in trying to fill and pave over as many potholes as possible.

“The road is in really bad condition and riddled with holes,” villager Óttar Már Kárason told reporters. “I believe we’re the only rural municipality that does not have paved access to another town that acts as a service centre. It’s time for that to stop.”

The road between Borgarfjörður Eystri and Egilsstaðir is about 70 kilometres long, so the villagers have their work cut out for them. Nonetheless, they are trying to fill as many potholes as they can.

Villagers have held protests over the conditions of the road before, and while it is technically possible to drive over it, the potholes are a long-neglected nuisance for many. When national road authorities will step in still remains to be seen.

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