A new draft of the federal traffic plan has rated railways, roads and waterways projects as urgent. Hamburg had submitted the plan to the Federal Ministry of Transport. Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, said: “The Federal Traffic Plan gives Hamburg planning security for some important infrastructure projects.” Although construction still hinges on legal and financial approval, the higher prioritisation in the traffic plan means that these projects are more likely to be built soon.
Expansion of Elbmarsch
One of the most urgent projects is the expansion of the Elbmarsch overpass. The 3.8 kilometre bridge is a key international traffic axis on the A7 connecting the port of Hamburg. Linking the Fehmarnbelttunnel with the hinterland was rated the second most important project. Expanding the rail network would improve connections from Hamburg to Scandinavia, according to the Ministry of Transport. Renovating and upgrading the Kiel Canal for bigger ships was also prioritised in view of increased traffic.
Horch said: “The fact that our motorway projects have been so well rated is a great success. We will endeavour to ensure that the measures are implemented quickly.” The Federal Ministry for Transport has acknowleded the great, economic importance of heavily-used roads and rail junctions as well as sea port connections to the hinterland.
However, placing Hamburg’s projects in the two highest of five categories does not mean construction will commence soon as the projects are to be included in the government’s expansion laws in the second half of 2016. Then the Bundestag must provide funds. During the next six weeks, residents can give their views on the draft plan which is available online since March 21.