Hverfisgata to Reopen in November After Two-Month Delay

According to an announcement on Reykjavík City’s website, construction on Hverfisgata – one of Reykjavík’s main streets – will be completed in November. Car traffic on Hverfisgata, between Smiðjustígur to Ingólfsstræti, has been stopped since May. Wooden platforms have served as makeshift sidewalks for pedestrians.

A Two-Month Delay

Construction on Hverfisgata was initially scheduled to be completed in September. The two-month delay has tested the patience of business owners, some of whom have reported a 40% decline in business. Five restaurants have closed since this summer and others are struggling, RÚV reports. In a recent post on Facebook, Ásmundur Helgason, owner of the coffeehouse Grái Kötturinn on Hverfisgata, demanded compensation from the City of Reykjavík.

“Surely, this delay calls for compensation from the contractor and my question is this: Who will receive this compensation? Has the City of Reykjavík suffered a loss from these delays? The answer, most likely, is No. We, the small-business owners, however, have suffered great losses.”

Construction to Be Completed Mid-November

This weekend, the cobbling of the square on the corner of Hverfisgata and Ingólfsstræti will be completed, the aforementioned announcement states. Next week, the finishing touches will be placed on a bike lane and sidewalk on the northern side of Hverfisgata, by the Culture House and the National Theatre. A cobbled square in front of the National Theatre will be finished at the end of the first week in November. The road itself will subsequently be opened. Construction of bike lanes and sidewalks on the southern side of Hverfisgata will be finished in mid-November.

Part of Hverfisgata to be Closed for Construction Over Summer

Hverfisgata between Ingólfsstræti and Smiðjustígur will be closed later this month and will remain so until September 2019. Per an announcement on the City of Reykjavík website, this section of the downtown street will be closed while sewage and cold-water pipes are repaired, just as was recently done at the western end of the street. Íngólfsstræti between Hverfisgata and Laugavegur will also be under construction at the same time.

In addition to working on the pipelines, the city will also be installing an underground snow-melting system at the intersections and under the bike path and sidewalk, putting in street lamps, adding in a stone shoulder along the roadway, and planting vegetation.

The City of Reykjavík began taking bids for this construction work this week; it is expected to start shortly.