Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 26, 2018


The road between the cemetery and Huset is closed to all foot and vehicle traffic following a landslide, the bridge between downtown and Svalbard Church must be demolished due to damage, and a man driving around asking for drugs is shut down by the police.

Vei 300 now closed to foot as well as vehicle traffic due to landslide
The road between the old museum and Huset, which has been closed to vehicle traffic for more than a year, is now closed to pedestrian traffic as well due to a landslide that occurred Friday and the risk of future slides, according to The Governor of Svalbard. A number of tourists were walking along the road when police closed off the road to pedestrians, but no injuries were reported as a result of the landslide. “We expect there to be more landslides,” said Police Chief. Lt. Lisbeth Hansen. “We cannot not have people walking in the area then. It has been used as a walking path up to now, but it cannot be used for that until the danger of landslides is over.” She said the closure may last for at least several days.

Bridge at Melkeveien to be demolished due to damage
The bridge at Melkeveien in the center of Longyearbyen, which has been closed to vehicle traffic since the summer of 2017, will be demolished in July due to damage to the water pipes passing through the bridge, according to city officials. Several possible replacements are being considered, including one- and two-lane versions with or without footpaths. The work is coinciding with erosion protection being implemented by the The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate for the riverbank in the valley where the bridge is located.

Man driving around seeking drugs also lacks license
At about 5:30 a.m. police were notified a man in his 30s was driving around town asking people for drugs. “It’s not common to drive around and ask for them, so we took the message seriously,” said Anders Haugerud, a police chief lieutenant for The Governor of Svalbard. When police stopped the man, who is not a Svalbard resident, they discovered he also didn’t have a driver’s license. The case is now under further investigation.