Construction sites on motorways

How the traffic chaos around Bonn should be alleviated

Der Bonner Tausendfüßler.

The Bonn Tausendfüßler (=„Centipede“). Photo: Volker Lannert

Gelsenkirchen. Construction is underway on the motorways in North Rhine-Westphalia. For the next two years alone, state company Straßen NRW is expecting 140 major construction sites - including bridge work that will take a considerable amount of time. Bonn is also affected.

Straßen NRW, the state agency for road construction, expects even more large construction sites in NRW in the next few years than previouslyThis was said by a spokesperson in conversation with our editorial team on Wednesday at the annual Roads NRW Construction Site Conference in Gelsenkirchen. In the next two years alone, 140 major construction sites on the state's motorways are planned, said Elfriede Sauerwein-Braksiek, head of Strassen NRW.

In 2018, the company invested 1.4 billion Euro in the renovation of roads and bridges. "In the current year it will not be less", said Sauerwein-Braksiek. To prevent even more traffic jams at the same time, Straßen NRW is trying to significantly improve the planning and implementation of construction sites. According to an 8-point concept presented in spring 2018 by NRW Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU), surcharges will be offered, for example, if a construction site is completed faster than planned. But there is also the threat of fines if a company fails to finish in time (bonus-malus rule).

Larger contracts are put out to tender ("mixed lots") and interim deadlines agreed. With more and more construction projects, planning and construction are to be carried out by one company in order to make faster progress. An important goal is always to avoid completely closing any lanes during construction work and to shift a lot of work into the night. It is also trying to handle several construction projects at the same time, so that there are not always new diversions.

Especially around Cologne and Bonn, Straßen NRW is trying to improve the management of construction sites, and the managers of the state company introduced a plan showing how they want to make an effort to progress as quickly as possible on eleven construction sites in the Bonn area. For example, the rehabilitation of the north bridge is to be carried out at night before the planned expansion of the A565 motorway.

The costs for the expansion of the A565 are estimated at 320 million Euro. However, construction is not expected to start until 2028. Also on the A565 between the north bridge and the Bonn-Northeast motorway junction, a construction company with premiums is to be persuaded to complete work quickly; interim deadlines have been agreed. Two makeshift bridges are to be built so that traffic can continue to flow on the A562, although the S-Bahn line 13 will be extended to Oberkassel from autumn 2019, in order to be able to maintain all lanes despite a tunnel underneath. The project could cost 14 million Euro.

Contruction works on the "Endenicher Ei" ahead

To ensure that the B42 between Oberkassel and Oberdollendorf can be quickly rehabilitated, the construction company will be paid surcharges for speedy work. To ensure that the construction of a bridge on the A 565 at Villemombler Strasse does not place too much strain on traffic, a makeshift bypass is being planned.

From May, the "Endenicher Ei" is to be rebuilt near the A565. Here, too, a temporary bridge is to be installed to avoid excessive traffic loads. So that the "Tausendfüßler" can be replaced as part of the A565 from the end of 2022 without blocking the traffic, the eastern replacement construction will be placed next to the existing bridge structure.

Straßen NRW will have to do even more to protect the Cologne motorway ring from further serious traffic flow problems. Because of the strategic importance of the motorways around the cathedral city for the entire state, many of these measures are already part of the 8-point plan of Transport Minister Wüst. For example, attempts are being made to complete the new construction of the Leverkusen Rhine bridge for the A1 as quickly as possible. At the end of 2024, Straßen NRW hopes that the project will come to an end. On the A3, the rehabilitation between Lohmar and the Bonn/Siegburg junction, which will start in autumn 2019, is to be accelerated with intermediate deadlines and the tendering of a mixed lot. At the end of 2022, it is hoped that the work will be completed.

There will also be extra charges if the A3 between the Hilden and Leverkusen/Opladen motorway junctions is completed particularly quickly - a tee-off if the construction period is not completed at the end of 2021. According to the bonus-malus system, a new bridge on the A59 in Cologne-Wahn will also be managed. The aim is to extend the A59 to six lanes.   Original text: Reinhard Kowalewsky Translation: Mareike Graepel