There are still many one-lane bridges in Iceland that do not meet established requirements for safety and weight tolerance. There are some 715 one-lane bridges in Iceland, a report from the Icelandic Road Administration states, and a fourth of these are over 60 years old.
“Many one-lane bridges do not meet modern regulations regarding weight tolerance and safety,” the report states in part. Global warming and the resulting weather are blamed in part for these conditions, as warming temperatures and increased rainfall has deepened the rivers that these bridges span over.
Fréttablaðið reports that the Federation of Icelandic Industries (SI) adds that increased tourism has brought increased traffic, which also increases the likelihood of the kinds of accidents that can happen on one-lane bridges.
Guðmundur Valur Guðmundsson, the director of the Icelandic Road Administration, says that Iceland’s bridges are generally speaking in good condition. However, the drive to decrease one-lane bridges requires additional funding, he says, in order to open more two-lane bridges that are both safer and stronger than the one-lane variety.