On the A1 motorway, a drawbridge intended to reduce traffic jams irritates drivers

All traffic on the A1 motorway in the direction of Bern for several weeks passed on a 264-meter drawbridge near Lüterbach (SW). The “Astra Bridge” was supposed to reduce traffic jams during highway construction sites, but this did not happen.

On paper, the drawbridge called the Astra Bridge was the solution to reducing congestion at highway construction sites, allowing traffic to flow smoothly, while workers safely work below.

>> Read more: A drawbridge will be tested to reduce traffic jams during works

But in reality, the Astra Bridge does not work quite as expected. Because in front of the very steep access ramp, trucks are forced to brake, which leads to traffic jams lasting several tens of minutes. “It’s a disaster. You almost have to stop to go up. You have to stop to go down,” explains a truck driver, Saturday at 12:45 of RTS.

One of his colleagues added, “I don’t risk going 40 km/h. I’m always between 20 km/h and 30 km/h. It’s dangerous for a truck.”

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Truck driver Thomas Knutti, who is also a member of the Bernese Grand Council, wrote a letter to Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga, head of the Federal Administration for Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), which oversees the Federal Roads Office (OFROU). “If we are stuck here for hours in traffic jams, we have problems delivering our goods. That is why I am asking Mrs. Sommaruga to remove this bridge, because it is not working,” he said.

The union closely analyzes the situation and learns about the problem. “We cannot say that the bridge is responsible for all the traffic jams. But it is not yet operating as we planned. We are working on improvements,” notes Richard Kochihans, president of Zofingen at FEDRO on his part.

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This drawbridge cost more than 20 million francs. It will remain for two years on the A1 site, before being used elsewhere in French-speaking Switzerland.

Daniel Stossel and Julian Guillaume / Fago

Brooke Vargas

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