BAD GODESBERG. Motorists should be prepared for major traffic disruptions on the B9 beginning this weekend. Long term renovation work will get underway at the tunnel. Authorities suggest alternative routes.
For some days already, one can see signs that are taped over on the way to the Bad Godesberg tunnel. Starting this weekend, things will get a bit tight in the tunnel and it will stay like that for one and a half years to come. The city engineering department expects traffic disruptions to be especially strong in the beginning. On Saturday, motorists will even have to deal with both tubes of the tunnel being closed for some time.
On Saturday morning at 2am, the side of the tunnel that runs south will be closed off completely. According to civil engineering authorities, an 80-centimeter divider will be installed. “It separates the two lanes, so that two-way traffic can flow through in the first nine months while work is being carried out in the tunnel tube on the Rhine side (in the direction towards Bonn, heading north),” explains city deputy spokesperson Marc Hoffman. He added that they might be able to open the south running tube again on Saturday evening.
Speed limit reduced to 30
At the very latest, that south running tube will be open again on Monday morning, August 13 - but this time for two-way traffic. It will remain like that for nine months, with a speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour in the tunnel. When that is finished, there will be a flip-flop and the two-way traffic will move to the other tunnel tube running north.
For this coming Saturday, the tunnel on the Rhine side will also be closed when intersections at the ends are remarked, traffic lights reprogrammed and trial runs carried out. Motorists will then need to use side streets to get around the tunnel. City engineering authorities promise the work will be done as quickly as possible.
Keeping up with fire code is the reason for the work in the tunnel. Various systems have to be renewed or improved. For example, 15 ventilation flaps will be installed in the ceiling, while old jet fans are removed. Altogether, the cost of the improvements is expected to be 8.5 million euros.
Traffic routing until mid-May next year
Northern portal: If you drive from Elsässer Straße to the B9, you can no longer turn right into the tunnel. On Wurzerstraße on the opposite side, a left turn into the tunnel is no longer possible. The short tube to Bonner Straße (city) is closed in this direction, but still open to drivers in the direction of Bonn. The access and exit via the ramp Godesberger Straße (Obi-Markt) will be blocked.
Southern Portal: The Koblenzer Straße ramp in front of McDonald's will be open only to cars coming out of the tunnel towards Mehlem. In the opposite direction it will be closed. Instead, the entrance on Friedrichallee (a few meters further) will be open, where all traffic is funneled to the left side of the tunnel. Pedestrians can then no longer directly cross Friedrichallee and will have to take a detour.
Alternate routes: Authorities expect that the tunnel will no longer be able to accommodate the 40,000 vehicles that pass through daily and recommend using alternate routes. One is called the “MUK” route: Mittelstraße, Ubierstraße, Konstantinstraße and the other involves taking the roads that run parallel to the railway tracks: Oscar-Romero-Straße, Nahum-Goldmann-Straße, August-Bebel-Straße, Martin-Luther-Allee and Godesberger Straße.
Local traffic: During times of congestion, bus lines 610, 611, 612, 613, 614, 615 and 631 will also be affected. "If you can, you should use the city tram lines 63/16 for going to Godesberg and in the direction of the city center," recommends municipal works spokesman Michael Henseler. One can also take regional trains.
(Orig. text: Richard Bongartz / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)