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More efficient tunnel construction

With new methods four tunnels could be constructed in the Eastfjords in seven years for ISK 15 billion (USD 224 million, EUR 168 million), according to a report introduced at a meeting in the Eastfjords yesterday.

The meeting was held in Neskaupstadur but was almost canceled due to bad weather. Representatives of the community councils of Fljótsdalshérad, Fjardarbyggd and Seydisfjördur attended the meeting. RÚV reports.

Sigurdur Gunnarsson, an expert who was hired by Seydisfjördur to investigate the efficiency of the tunnels, introduced the potential tunnel constructions to the community councils.

He suggested the communities would found an association that would make an agreement with the state treasury regarding a construction of four tunnels.

Gunnarsson suggested the association would originally be owned by the communities and the construction of the tunnels would be a private operation. The state would gradually gain ownership of the tunnels.

The tunnels would be drilled with a method that has never been used in Iceland before, which Gunnarsson believes it is both quicker and cheaper than traditional methods.

The new tunnels would be constructed by drilling only, instead of being drilled in combination with explosions, which is how tunnels in Iceland have been constructed until now.

Gunnarsson told RÚV he would like the constructions to begin in 2008 or in 2009. “These tunnels are as important for the Eastfjords as the smelter,” he added.

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