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The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration’s Research Work


The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration’s Research Work

Background & policy context: 

The role of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA) is to oversee the country’s transport system on land and sea, in the best way possible with a view to society’s needs, the safety of users of the system and environmental considerations.

Research under the auspices of IRCA is divided into four chief categories:

  • construction
  • traffic
  • the environment
  • society

In January, each year there is a call for applications for funding of research projects covered by these categories. A Research Board, appointed by the Director of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, presents him with proposals for the appropriation to individual projects. The projects that receive funding start in March each year, and run until the end of March the following year. Projects can also continue for more than one year. 

In most instances, at the start, it should be defined who are to use the results of specific research projects and they should be offered the opportunity to formulate the project in question and implement the results. 

Strategic Objectives: 

Emphasis is on practical research and the utilisation of the acquisition of knowledge and data for the activities of the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, while also utilising part of the research appropriations for supporting projects, which count as basic research involving the Administration's activities.

Leading Institutions:

The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration

Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions: 

In the paragraph 23 of the road act nr.80-2007 it is stated that each year 1,5% of earmarked sources should be used in research and development. In 2015 the amount is c.a. one million Euros.

Number of projects:
Projects covered: 

The list of transport relevant projects running from March 2015 to March 2016 is shown below. Information, in Icelandic, can be found on IRCA webpage:


  • Condition assessment of the road network and road data analysis.
  • Conditions of tensioning cables in concrete bridges
  • Continuous expansion joints in road- and bridge design to increase durability and reduce maintenance costs
  • Degradation of unbound aggregates under simulated traffic stress, part 3
  • Durability of asphalt concrete pavements on main roads in Reykjavik area
  • Durability of concrete in marine environment.- Repair of bridge over Borgarfjörður
  • Dust binding of gravel roads using bitumen emulsion
  • Establishment of Chart Datum and Tidal Elevation at several Icelandic harbours.
  • Optimization of aggregate grading in SMA with regard to wear resistance, fatigue resistance and compactability
  • Quality Specifications for Roadway Bridges - Standardization at a European level (COST TU1406: BridgeSpec)
  • Results from LA-tests, effect of moisture
  • Spectral analysis of surface waves
  • Strengthening possibilities of base layers in exciting roads
  • The use of carbon fibers to reinforce concrete structures and for structural health monitoring
  • Traffic loading on bridges


  • Accurate analysis of bicycle accidents
  • Bicycle traffic, distribution model.
  • Foreign tourists' share in traffic accidents at roundabouts in Iceland
  • NordFoU EPAS. External influences spray patterns
  • NordFoU ROSTMOS. ROad STate MOnitoring System - ITS to support Maintenance Decision Support System
  • NorDust – Modeling particulate matter due to traffic and the effects of weather (NordFoU project)
  • Policies for signs along the road network
  • Readiness assessment of the Icelandic road system for autonomous vehicles
  • Regular estimation on traffic growth and public transport
  • Reykjanesbraut-Accident rate before and after illumination reduction
  • Traffic safety regarding left lanes at slippery roads
  • Trip generation and commuting patterns in the Capital region.

The Environment:

  • Different changes in bottom commuities both outside and inside the road crossing of D
Project Profiles:
  1. Modelling particulate matter due to traffic and the effects of weather
  2. Readiness assessment for autonomous vehicles in Iceland
  3. ROad STate MOnitoring System
  4. Traffic safety regarding left lanes on icy roads
Contact Name: 
Thorir Ingason
Contact Email: 
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration
Contact country:
+354 522 1022