A3 expansion gets underway: soder and scheuer break ground – five years of construction work

The fact that the widening of the A3 between the biebelried and furth/erlangen interchanges is of major significance was made clear by the political celebrities who attended the groundbreaking ceremony on friday morning alone. In addition to the district councils of erlangen-hochstadt, kitzingen and bamberg, minister-president markus soder, federal transport minister andreas scheuer and state transport minister kerstin schreyer (all CSU).

Roughest opp infrastructure project in germany to expand the A3

The importance of the expansion for the region as well as for the infrastructure of the federal government was emphasized from all sides. "From the netherlands to austria: the A3 is one of central europe’s most important traffic axes", said minister scheuer. He also emphasized the uniqueness of the public-private partnership (opp) that the federal government is entering into with two construction companies.

For the entire stretch of 76 kilometers, pure expansion costs of 1.5 billion euros are estimated. The opp project has a total cost of around 2.8 billion euros – 700 million euros more than initially estimated – making it the largest opp project ever commissioned in germany.

The contract began on 1. May, the completion of the expansion is planned for the end of 2025. The project is designed as a so-called availability model. "It includes the six-lane expansion of the A3 as well as operation, maintenance and pro-rata financing over a period of 30 years", according to the press release of the project company "A3 nordbayern", the contractor is.

The project includes an expansion of the steigerwald gas station and rest area on both sides, as well as the construction of three new rest areas with toilets that have not been used to date. Bavarian transport minister schreyer said on friday: "this will improve the infrastructure in the entire region, ensure a better flow of traffic and increase safety for all road users."

Criticism of the A3 expansion from the grunen

Most recently, the greens in the bundestag criticized the consulting fees on which the state has so far spent around one million euros. At the groundbreaking ceremony, minister scheuer said: "without this kind of partnership, the state would not have been able to provide the funding." The two construction companies from france and lower saxony are taking over part of the investment costs and will look after the highway section for 30 years in return. Through the collection of tolls, the companies should then make their profit in the long run.

The deputy erlangen-hochstadt county councilman manfred bachmayer (grune) says in a press release on the start of the expansion: "here, it is mainly banks and the consortium of large companies that have been awarded the contract that will profit."

Criticism also came from the region. For christian zwanziger, member of the state parliament for the greens, rail transport is the backbone for relaxed and congestion-free mobility in the future. "I miss a clear priority setting in the federal ministry of transportation that will not only allow us to commute and travel comfortably, but also to achieve our climate goals."

Erlangen-hochstadt district also benefits from expansion of the a3 autobahn

District administrator alexander tritthart (CSU) sees the expansion less critically: "for us, this is really good." For the residents it will be better in rough areas, especially concerning the protection of larms. Tritthart also hoped for more safety on the autobahn through the expansion – which the companies also needed.

Advantages for the burger entstunden also due to the participation of the county. "There will also be an improvement because we as a county have helped finance the additional costs of new cycle paths." Bike paths will be integrated into the underpass near medbach and on the bridges between hannberg and rohrach, as well as between neuhaus and hesselberg.

This meets the transport policy idea of scheuer, who thinks too much about individual transport carriers such as the railroads. "We will avoid the bottleneck", said the federal minister, meaning that everyone is thought of. So to truck and car drivers and their six lanes, as well as the cyclists under and over them.

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