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New highland road criticized

Leader of the Left Green party and MP Steingrímur J. Sigfússon is among many who have criticized a private construction of a highway across Iceland’s highland. He says a highway does not belong in Iceland’s wilderness.

Sigfússon is opposed to the idea that the road would belong to private company Nordurvegur ehf., which plans to charge motorists for using it, as Morgunbladid reports.

Nordurvegur would continue charging a road fee, even after the cost of the construction of the road had been earned back, Sigfússon said.

Sigfússon added that he doubted the road could be used all year round, because the weather in Iceland’s highlands is unpredictable.

Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, MP for the Independence Party and the chairman of the parliament’s Environment Committee, told Morgunbladid the planned highway has both pros and cons.

Heavy trucks could use it for transporting goods between north and south Iceland and the public would have a better chance to enjoy the Icelandic highland.

However, Thórdarson said, the road could damage its surrounding environment and the potential damage had to be taken into account.

The new road would run across Kjölur through the highland and shorten the distance between south and north Iceland. If approved, it could be ready by 2010.

Click here to read more about the new road.

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