From this day forward, the famed tunnel at Hvalfjörður will be completely toll free, Skessuhorn reports.
Anyone who has ever taken Route 1 north from Reykjavík has likely encountered this tunnel. Completed in 1998, it was designed to significantly shorten the driving time taken when heading north from Iceland’s capital; before then, such a ride would require taking an extensive detour all the way around Hvalfjörður.
Today, at 13:15 Icelandic time, the electronic toll system at the tunnel was switched off. Following this, other toll collecting equipment was taken out of operation and the signs warning drivers to have their cash or passes ready were also taken down. The tunnel became officially toll-free at 14:00 today.
As such, maintenance and upkeep of the tunnel is now solely in the hands of the Icelandic government.
Iceland has a generally good infrastructure policy, although many less-traveled roads in the countryside are in dire need of repairs. Toll collection was initially seen as one way to raise funds for maintaining the infrastructure, but the benefits have proven to fall considerably short, thus undermining the original justification for the toll in the first place.