Bonn Thomas Strasse was closed to traffic as of Friday evening due to construction work on the Viktoria Bridge. Drivers must expect massive traffic obstructions as a result. Already on Friday, the closure led to traffic jams in the city center.
In the coming days, motorists will have to prepare themselves for massive delays north of Bonn city center. On Friday evening, the city of Bonn completely closed off the section of Thomas Strasse between Ellerstrasse and Altem Friedhof in both directions. This is due to work on the Viktoria bridge, which, according to the city, cannot be rescheduled. The closure is expected to be lifted on Wednesday, December 11 at around 6 am. Traffic will be diverted in both directions via Bornheimer Strasse and Ellerstrasse.
The buildings along Thomas Strasse in front of and behind the construction site can still be reached by residents. However, word of the closure obviously still needs to spread. On Friday evening, numerous drivers who had apparently overlooked the signage fell into the trap and had to turn around at the construction site. It quickly came to traffic chaos.
Peter Esch, head of the civil engineering office, told the GA that he realized “We didn't make it easy for ourselves” by closing Thomasstrasse during a time of year when people want to go Christmas shopping in the city. But the work has to be coordinated with Deutsche Bahn and a delay in this work would have ultimately led to another delay of a half year. His goal is to complete the Viktoria Bridge by the end of 2021/beginning of 2022 - i.e. close to the start of construction of the so-called “Tausendfüßler”, the section of the A 565 between Endenich and Bonn-Nord.
What will happen on the construction site around the Viktoria Bridge over the next few days and nights? In the night from Friday to Saturday, the last sections of the eastern part of the Viktoria Bridge were installed in the area of Thomas Strasse. According to Esch, a 400-ton crane was to be erected on Thomas Strasse for the work. To install the bridge girders, tram traffic will also be interrupted several times for a short period. The second part of the bridge casing lies over the sidewalk and street area and can be installed without influencing the light rail system.
Once the twelve meter wide bridge deck has been installed, the load-bearing reinforcement is laid on the precast slabs, the transition structure is installed and the bridge slab is concreted. The roadway is then asphalted and the footpath and cycle path concreted. At three meters, it is considerably wider than the opposite footpath and cycle path and is therefore, Esch is convinced, more pleasant for pedestrians and cyclists to use.
In early summer 2020, the head of the civil engineering office plans to complete the construction of the new eastern section of the Viktoria Bridge and put it into operation. Then the workers change sides and the demolition and construction of the second half of the bridge begins. According to Esch, the estimated costs are around 45 million euros.
Karina Kröber from the board of directors of the City Marketing Merchants' Association recognizes that if the Viktoria Bridge is to be completed on time, it will be necessary to bite the bullet and accept the closure of Thomas Strasse in the middle of the Christmas business. "We are grateful to the city that the closure of Thomas Strasse was not set up until Friday evening," she said.
(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen /Translation: ck)