Fossvogur Bridge to Be Completed in 2024

Fossvogur bridge Borgarlína

The winning design of a new bridge that will connect Reykjavík and Kópavogur municipalities across the Fossvogur inlet has been revealed, RÚV reports. The bridge will be completed in 2024 and will not be open to private vehicles, rather will be exclusively dedicated to public transport vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. The winning design was completed by Icelandic company Efla Consulting Engineers in collaboration with UK-based BEAM Architects.

“The winning proposal provides for a bridge with a rapid cycling lane, for those who want to cross quickly, there are lanes for public transport and the Borgarlína rapid bus transit line in the middle, and on the other side there is a path for those who want to walk or cycle more slowly,” explained Bryndís Friðriksdóttir, regional manager of capital area projects at the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration.

The bridge, named Alda (e. Wave) is part of an ambitious 15-year transport plan for the Reykjavík capital area that includes the development of a rapid bus transit line, called Borgarlína. Alda is the first major construction project associated with the new transit system. “It’s part of what we call the first phase of Borgarlína, which is the Borgarlína route that runs from Hamraborg to the city centre and connects Reykjavík University, the University of Iceland, and the National Hospital, and then onward from the city centre along Suðurlandsbraut up to Ártúnshöfði so it’s a big part of getting Borgarlína and the new bus system up and running,” Bryndís stated.

The full cost of the bridge is yet to be determined, but Bryndís says the next step will be to examine costs it in detail. It will be funded by the transport agreement between the state and capital area municipalities. The Borgarlína website shows a video simulation of the completed bridge. Read more about the Borgarlína project.

City to Install Over Two Kilometres of New Cycling Paths This Summer

The City of Reykjavík plans to lay 2.4 km [1.5 mi] of new and/or improved cycling paths in Reykjavík this summer, RÚV reports. The new lanes, which will cost an estimated ISK 530 million [$4.3 million; €3.8 million] to install, will be separated from both pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

According to the announcement posted on the City of Reykjavík’s website, there will be six new paths in total. These will include:

  • Along Eiðsgrandi from the Seltjarnarnes city limit to the gas station at Keilugrandi
  • On Bústaðavegur between Háaleitisbraut and the bridge that crosses Kringlumýrarbraut
  • Within the Elliðaárdalur Valley: from Stekkjarbakki to the path along Fagrahvammur
  • Also within the Elliðaárdalur Valley: repairs to the existing path between Reykjanesbraut and Höfðabakki
  • Along Geirsgata (starting at Miðbakki) between Lækjargata and Pósthæusstræti
  • Within the Víðidalur Valley: new walking and cycling paths from Vallarás to where the Elliðaárdalur Valley’s trail network begins at Klapparás

The cost of the new paths will be split between the City of Reykjavík and the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, with the government putting ISK 450 million [$3.6 million; €3.2 million] towards the project and the Road and Coastal Administration contributing the remaining ISK 80 million [$647,200; €570,645].

Research shows that as the path network has improved, an increasing number of people have begun cycling in Reykjavík. There are a number of indicators of this. For one, the use of electric bikes has quadrupled in Iceland over the last year. Then there were 36,000 cycling trips counted in and around Nauthólsvík in May, which is a new record-high for Reykjavík. Before this, the highest number of cycling trips counted in the same area was 30,000 in August 2018.

Reykjavík to Reduce Gas Stations by Half by 2025

Reykjavík is set to dramatically reduce the number of gas stations in the city by 2030, Vísir reports. Currently, there are 75 gas stations in the capital area, but Reykjavík City Council has approved plans to reduce these to around 37 in the next six years as part of its environmental initiatives.

Mayor Dagur B. Eggertson announced the plan on his Facebook page this week, saying that the gas stations will be replaced with apartment buildings, shops, and other services. Originally, the city had intended to meet this goal by 2030, but Dagur noted that the City Council liked the initiative so much that everyone agreed to comply with a tighter deadline.

Reykjavík’s climate plan foresees gas stations largely disappearing from the city by 2040 and that vehicular traffic and public transportation will also be greenhouse emission-free by the same time. Current projections are that private cars will account for 58% of transportation by 2030, while public transportation will account for 12% and cycling 30%.

PM’s Next Car Will Be Electric

The Icelandic government will be upgrading its fleet of ministerial vehicles to electric cars, RÚV reports. Electric cars will be integrated into the existing fleet according to the regular car replacement schedule.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir says that it is now important to gather information on electric car manufacturers and dealerships to determine what make and model should be selected by government ministers.

Electric cars have been very popular with Icelandic consumers in recent years and sales have been steadily increasing. For instance, only 227 electronic cars were sold in 2016, but 415 of them were sold in 2017 – an 86% increase. Alternative and clean transportation has been an important issue with city planners, whose proposals for new energy-efficient initiatives included city-wide lamppost charging stations. Supporting increased use of electric cars was also one of the goals laid out in the Reykjavík Climate Policy, which was approved in 2016.

A recent report on electric cars in Iceland revealed that the proportion of clean electric cars in Iceland is expected to increase even more in the coming years, although this will depend somewhat on government decisions and market conditions. One of the most significant factors for buyers to consider, however, is that from the time they are purchased new, cars in Iceland are, on average, in use for 12 to 13 years. As such, any car purchased today will impact the local environment for more than a decade.