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Upcoming motorway works in Austria and Germany could cause traffic chaos

Austria faces major traffic disruption due to upcoming renovations on the Brenner motorway and planned closures on both the A8 Munich-Salzburg motorway and the Tauern motorway, according to the Austrian Central Association of Forwarding and Transport Logistics.

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The Brenner Corridor is one of the most used Alpine routes for road freight transport and is crucial for the supply of goods to many regions in Europe.

The Central Association of Forwarding and Transport Logistics believes that there is a risk of simultaneous or overlapping closures and traffic restrictions.

These concerns are quite justified when we consider several key investments:

  • from 2025, the urgent renovation or complete construction of the new Lueg Bridge near Gries am Brenner in Austria, which will lead to massive traffic disruptions lasting up to three years; 
  • from 2027 onwards, renovation work on the Tauern Tunnel in Austria, the second main artery on the north-south route; 
  • 23 bridge renovations on the A8 Munich-Salzburg motorway and an expansion from 6 to 8 lanes (including shoulders) between Rosenheim and the Austrian border, which will cause further stress, are scheduled for the same period.

The most important north-south and east-west trade routes will be severely impacted when the repairs start next year. Alternative options such as RoLA, the so-called ‘motorway on wheels’ (a combination of road and rail transport), offer far too little scope for relocation. In addition, the rail links themselves are constrained by extensive construction work, notes the Central Association of Forwarding and Transport Logistics.

The organisation therefore calls on the Austrian and German authorities and the institutions responsible for planning the renovations to coordinate and cooperate with the transport industry. 

According to Alexander Friesh, President of the union, a lack of coordination in the planning of such extensive works could have deplorable consequences, including a collapse in supply. 

Of course, we welcome the renovation and upgrading of infrastructure. (…) In addition to professional coordination, lifting the ban on night-time truck driving during construction work is certainly the most effective way to minimise traffic jams and traffic chaos,” emphasises Friesz quoted in the organisation’s official press release.

According to him, potential analyses and simulations need to be created urgently to ensure that projects are properly distributed and alternative routes are secured.

Rail is not an alternative

According to the Central Association of Freight Forwarding, Transport and Logistics, a significant transfer of freight transport to rail is not a suitable alternative due to the lack of capacity and the numerous planned and already ongoing construction works and the Brenner Tunnel, which is still under construction. The association has already pointed out on several occasions, based on studies, the lack of potential of rail in the current and future modal split and the inevitably increasing freight volumes in road freight transport.