East Iceland Tunnel Workers Meet and Greet Skip to content

East Iceland Tunnel Workers Meet and Greet

Workers building the new Norðfjarðargöng tunnel in East Iceland are celebrating today after the two digging teams successfully met in the middle.

The teams met each other at 10.00 yesterday morning, with the two ends of the tunnel meeting up quicker than had been expected. It was initially believed the momentous moment would occur last night or today.

Guðmundur Björnsson from the Hnit engineering company told RÚV that celebrations erupted when workers tunneling from Eskifjörður entered a new crater following a controlled explosion and met the workers tunneling from the Fannardalur side. The workers took a break to congratulate each other—and none more so than the measurements technician whose job it was to make sure the two teams digging through solid rock in the pitch darkness actually met in the middle as planned.

A proper celebration is planned among workers this weekend.

Despite this, there is still a lot of work to do, as it is still only possible to move between the sides by climbing through a small hole over a pile of tons of rubble. The Icelandic interior minister will doubtless be hoping that access has been considerably improved when she comes to ceremonially let off the final explosion a week from now.

Originally due for completion in 2014, the 7-km-long Norðfjarðargöng was subject to protest and other delays and is now expected to open for traffic in September 2017. It will connect Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður and will replace a perilous mountain road journey and the short and narrow Oddskarðsgöng tunnel.

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