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Cheaper solution for road improvement

Insurance company Sjóvá and contractor company Ístak believe they can make Sudurlandsvegur from Reykjavík to Selfoss a four-lane highway for a much lower price than what the Iceland Road Administration estimated.

According tot the Road Administration’s estimation, 2+2 lanes (two lanes in both directions) on the notoriously dangerous road would cost ISK 13.5 billion (USD 203 million, EUR 152 million), while a 2+1 road would cost ISK 5.8 billion (USD 87 million, EUR 65 million), RÚV reports.

Sjóvá and Ístak, however, estimate that a 2+2-lane road could be constructed for ISK 7.5 to eight billion (USD 113 to 120 million, EUR 85 to 90 million).

The difference is in having roundabouts instead of crossings on different levels in urban areas and less space between the lanes. Sjóvá and Ístak suggest 2.5 meters instead of 11 meters as the Road Administration suggested.

Ístak estimates that the improvements to Sudurlandsvegur could be made in three years.

“We believe we will improve safety, especially with good guardrails in between [the lanes that go in different directions] and lampposts behind the guardrails,” said Sjóvá director Thór Sigfússon. “In many ways this is a better solution.”

“We believe we can reduce serious injuries by up to 80 percent with this solution […] and the frequency of damages by up to 50 percent, so these are considerable numbers for us, the community and of course the individuals who suffer from loss on this road,” Sigfússon said.

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