Road Infrastructure

Undersea marvel to open on Saturday – toll free until year’s end

Image credits: Ólavur Frederiksen — FaroePhoto

Saturday December 19th will be the grand opening day for the Eysturoy Tunnel (Eysturoyartunnilin), the giant undersea road tunnel between the Faroese capital Tórshavn and two points on the neighboring island Eysturoy.

An opening ceremony, which will be broadcast live on public broadcaster KvF’s television and radio stations, will take place at 11 AM on Saturday. During the ceremony Jørgen Niclasen, Minister for Transport Infrastructure, will cut the ribbon and be the first person to drive through the officially opened tunnel; at noon, the tunnel will be open to everyone.

Many are likely to turn up to try out the new 11-kilometer marvel, as tolls will be temporarily suspended — that is, for almost two weeks for the Eysturoy Tunnel, and for a full day for the existing other undersea toll roads, making it convenient for drivers to come from largely all over the Faroe Islands to experience the opening.

The Eysturoy Tunnel is the Faroe Islands’ third subsea road tunnel. The rates for driving through the tollroad wonder has, however, been set considerably higher compared to the rates on the two other existing ones, the Vágatunnilin between Streymoy and Vagar, and the Norðoyatunnilin between Leirvík and Klaksvík.

The relatively high toll rates have led to heated discussions on social media. For now, however, there is some good news for drivers in that regard: Eystur- og Sandoyartunlar — the publicly owned company behind the two current subsea tunnel projects including the now completed Eysturoy Tunnel and the still-under-construction Sandoy Tunnel — has announced that driving through the Eysturoy Tunnel will be free of charge for the remainder of the year. The toll regime will commence on January 1st 2021.

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