Traffic – Lobau tunnel is probably not coming

The controversial Lobau tunnel, which was planned as part of the Vienna outer ring expressway, will not be built. According to reliable information from the “Wiener Zeitung”, there will be no green light for the central transport project in Vienna. The evaluation of a number of large road construction projects initiated by Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) in spring has been completed. However, an alternative to the S 18 in Vorarlberg and the need for a large tunnel project in Tyrol are still being examined.

On the part of the climate protection ministry, however, they wanted to “neither deny nor confirm” reports on an end to the road construction project. Previously, the daily newspaper “Heute” reported on Tuesday that the project evaluation initiated by Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) had spoken out against a construction in the nature reserve.

The Lobau tunnel is part of the planned Vienna outer ring expressway. The road was to run for eight kilometers in the tunnel – 60 meters below the Lobau, an ecologically highly sensitive area and part of the Donau-Auen National Park. These plans have been debated for 20 years. Environmentalists fear massive effects on flora and fauna. The city and the Asfinag, however, assure that they are digging well below the groundwater flow and that no impairment is to be feared. Asfinag puts the costs for the northeast bypass at 1.9 billion euros.

Which roads are not being built

For some other large road construction projects, the decisions of the evasion have already become public. According to this, the construction of the expressway S 8 from Vienna through the Marchfeld to Gänserndorf is no longer planned, which is, however, fought among others by the state of Lower Austria before the highest court.

The three-lane expansion of the Pyhrn motorway A 9 between Graz and Spielfeld on the Slovenian border will also be canceled. The expansion of the expressway between Scheifling in Styria and St. Veit an der Glan in Carinthia as part of the previous B 317 will also not be implemented.

On the other hand, the S 10 expressway will be built through the Mühlviertel. This closes the gap between the Mühlkreisautobahn A 7 in Linz in the direction of the Czech autobahn connection, as was massively demanded in Upper Austria.

Controversial connection points

The proceedings lasted for years, and objections were repeatedly raised. Opponents of the project also tried in 2006 to stop test drillings by occupying them. Climate activists are currently camping at two locations in the Danube city where work is pending in connection with the mega-construction project.

In connection with the north-east bypass, connecting roads are to be built in Vienna that are by no means less controversial. There is Aspern, for example. This 4.6 km long connection between the Raasdorf junction and the Seestadt district is still part of the S1. The project, like the bypass itself, is the responsibility of the federal government.

The city street is then to be built across the district from Seestadt. The 3.2 km long route is to connect the south-east bypass (A23, Hirschstetten junction) with the S1-Spange. Opponents speak of an urban freeway. Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), however, only recently assured the local council that this designation was wrong. He assured that the 3.2 km long connection should be 50 km / h. Half of the road will also be tunneled under. The rest will be lowered and equipped with noise barriers, he said.

Do roads generate cars?

The city street is being targeted by the critics primarily because it is feared that massive amounts of traffic will be routed directly from the S1 via the tangent towards the city center. In the town hall, however, it is argued that the old town centers in the 22nd district will be relieved of through traffic. How relief is one of the main arguments for the overall project anyway. 77,000 cars are expected to be less on the Südosttangente (A23) every day when the bypass comes, say the city and Asfinag. Project opponents argue that the road would attract even more cars: the more roads there are, the more cars there are. Roads generate cars. The northeast bypass would not solve the problem. (ett)

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