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German A27 motorway: emergency repairs begin without temporary bridge

The A27 motorway in Germany, used by many lorries travelling to and from the North Sea ports of Bremen, Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven, is in danger of collapsing and has been closed in both directions since last week. Emergency repairs are being carried out without a temporary bridge, which is particularly difficult for heavy goods vehicles.

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Since Wednesday 21 February 2024, the A27 motorway in Lower Saxony has been completely closed in both directions between the Hagen and Uthlede junctions north of Bremen due to rusted, corrugated steel sections in the trench culvert under the motorway.

Access to the ports of Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven is guaranteed for large and heavy goods, although permits are still required for the alternative routes.

This is a big challenge, because on average up to 30 lorries with rotor blades leave the port every night and head south,” says Michael de Reese, Chairman of the Cuxhaven Port Association.

As of Friday, 1,800 rerouting requests had been received by the Road Traffic Department.

However, according to the authorities, the permits are being processed by the relevant authorities without unnecessary bureaucracy.

No temporary bridge 

Following an inspection by the Highways Agency, it is not possible to bridge the damaged section in the short term for structural reasons, and a temporary bridge would not be timely or technically feasible. As a result, the A27 will remain completely closed at this point.

Work began on Tuesday 27 February and should be completed by the end of March at the latest, when the motorway will reopen, according to Autobahn GmbH.

Alternative routes for lorries

There are signposted diversions via Hagen and Uthlede, which are also open to lorries:

  • In the direction of Bremen, traffic from Hagen junction will take the U28 to Uthlede junction.
  • In the direction of Cuxhaven, traffic will be diverted from Uthlede junction to Hagen junction via the U33. Journey times are likely to be at least 15 minutes longer.
  • Alternatively (towards the coast), you can take the bypass via Siedlung Heuberg, Lehnstedt, Wulsbüttel, Börsten, Hahnenkoop and Stotel.