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Vaðlaheiðargöng Tunnel
LocationEyjafjörður, Iceland
Work begun12 July 2013
Opened21 December 2018
No. of lanes2
Operating speed70km/h
Highest elevation500m
Lowest elevation60m

Vadlaheidargong (Vaðlaheiðargöng) is a tunnel in the north of Iceland along Route 1, just east of Akureyri. It passes between Eyjafjordur and Fjoskadalur. It is 7.4 km (4.6 mi) long[1][2][3] and replaces a 21 km section of Route 1 including the Vikurskard pass. The tunnel shortens the travel between Akureyri and Husavik by 16 km.[4]

Costs and schedule[edit]

The estimated cost of the tunnel was ISK 11.5 billion (2013 prices, about US$ 96 million) but by April 2017, it was reported that the costs had surpassed the estimates by 44%.[5][6] The Icelandic government loaned 4.7 billion ISK to the construction of the project in April 2017.[5][6]

The tunnel was planned to open at the end of 2016.[7] However, a large leak was found in early 2015 and large supports needed to be put in place. Adding to the problems, a large volume of hot water was also found and needed to be pumped out of the tunnel. The tunnel was, as of April 2017, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.[8] As of April 2017, the tunnel had been drilled, but finishing up and building the road remained.[9]

The tunnel opened in December of 2018.[10]


The construction of the tunnel and the Icelandic government's role in it has been harshly criticized. Opponents of the project have said that the project will not be profitable within a reasonable span of time (or at all), that construction costs would exceed original estimates and that the motivation behind the construction is to benefit the voting demographic in a marginal constituency.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ Merzagora, Eugenio (June 2006). "Road Tunnels in Iceland". The World's Longest Tunnel Page. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  2. ^ "Félag um Vaðlaheiðargöng". RUV. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  3. ^ "New North Iceland Tunnel in the Pipelines". Iceland Review. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  4. ^ "43° heitt vatn í Vaðlaheiðargöngum". RÚV. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Vaðlaheiðargöng fá 4,7 milljarða - Viðskiptablaðið". Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Ríkið lánar 4,7 milljarða í Vaðlaheiðargöng". RÚV. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Skýrsla: Vaðlaheiðargöng geta ekki talist einkaframkvæmd". Kjarninn (in Icelandic). Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Vaðlaheiðargöng opnuð haustið 2018 - Vísir". Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Mountain road between Akureyri and Mývatn soon a thing of the past". Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Vaðlaheiðargöng opnuð fyrir umferð". Fréttablaðið. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Þverklofin vegna Vaðlaheiðarganga". RÚV. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Vaðlaheiðargöng: Klúður, fals, kjördæmapot og pólitískar brellur". Kvennablaðið. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Vísir - Í bítið - Ólafur Guðmundsson rífur í sig Vaðlaheiðargöng: "Kjördæmapot"". (in Icelandic). Retrieved 9 April 2017.

Coordinates: 65°41′35″N 18°03′16″W / 65.6931°N 18.0544°W / 65.6931; -18.0544