Almost every vacationer or day tripper has been stuck in a traffic jam here: on the way to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A new tunnel should remedy the situation. Present at the opening: a "Tunnel Godmother" and a "Tunnel God". But the digging is far from over.
Oberau (dpa / lby) - After around eleven years of construction, an important bypass is free on the notoriously congested federal highway towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The tunnel for Oberau was opened on Thursday as the longest road tunnel in Bavaria. The Bavarian Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter (CSU) spoke of a "historic day". Residents would be freed from noise and exhaust fumes, and traffic would progress better.
First, "Tunnel Patin", biathlete Magdalena Neuner from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt drove into the tunnels in convertibles. As Federal Transport Minister at the time, Dobrindt channeled millions into his constituency for the construction project. In the region he is also known as "Tunnel God".
The bypass is an important building block for a better connection from the end of the A95 to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Austria. Vacationers and day-trippers have been stuck in traffic there for years. However, environmentalists fear that the expansion will push even more traffic jams into the region around the Zugspitze.
Pedestrians, cyclists and bladers were allowed into the tubes on Thursday, followed by cars on Friday. The centerpiece is the tunnel, which is almost three kilometers long and has two independent tubes. These come to light again south of Oberau and connect to the section of the B2 in the neighboring town of Farchant, which has already been expanded with a tunnel. The bypass is 4.2 kilometers long in total, and the federal government invested 260 million euros.
"Oberau is a project of the century," said Dobrindt. "Today I was able to experience two historic moments: the completion of the tunnel. And today I was a participant in the last traffic jam on the A95 before Oberau."
It is uncertain whether he is right about this. Because more tunnels will be dug. The ground-breaking ceremony for the four-lane expansion between Eschenlohe and Oberau with the Auerberg tunnel took place last August. The Kramer Tunnel is also being built as a bypass for the Garmisch district. The Wank tunnel is also being planned as a bypass for the Partenkirchen district. When all the tunnels are finished by the end of the decade, there should be four lanes from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
The tunnel in Oberau has now been completed in time for the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau at the end of June, to which masses of police officers and media representatives as well as summit opponents are expected in the region.