North Rhine-Westphalia: Blocking the Rahmede Bridge: Bundestag dispute over renovation

Nothing has been going over the bridge near Lüdenscheid for exactly one year.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Blocking the Rahmede Bridge: Bundestag dispute over renovation

Nothing has been going over the bridge near Lüdenscheid for exactly one year. The Union is putting the issue on the agenda in the Bundestag. Traffic light politicians see the responsibility for the dilapidated bridge rather with former CDU ministers.

Lüdenscheid/Berlin (dpa/lnw) - On the anniversary of the closure of the Rahmede viaduct, the Bundestag dealt with measures to accelerate bridge renovations on federal trunk roads. One wants to shorten the planning and approval procedures for bridges in need of renovation by two and a half years, said Florian Müller, CDU MP from Sauerland. The Union faction had introduced a draft law on the subject and thus put the subject on the agenda on Friday. Representatives of the traffic light coalition defended themselves: action had long been taken, and the CDU had allowed the bridge to become dilapidated in the first place.

Specifically, the Union wants that in certain cases there is no longer a need for planning approval procedures when it comes to the maintenance and repair of bridges. So far, this has only been possible in certain cases, such as reconstruction after a natural disaster. In addition, the Ministry of Transport should be able to exempt construction projects in whole or in part from the requirements of the environmental impact assessment in exceptional cases.

The draft law relates to all bridges on federal trunk roads, but the closure of the Rahmedetalbrücke and the award procedure for the new building are cited as negative examples. The Union cites the LNG Acceleration Act as a model, which was quickly passed in May to facilitate the supply of liquefied natural gas.

The CDU MP Müller said that the nerves of the residents were strained. The region is about to lose faith in politics in Berlin, so far too little has happened. The dilapidated bridge near Lüdenscheid has been closed since December 2, 2021. The detour traffic burdens local residents and the economy in the region.

The Detmold SPD MP Jürgen Berghahn said the government had long been working on the matter. In the past few months, numerous measures for leaner procedures for renovations have already been initiated - for example with the so-called functional tender, in which planning and construction are in one hand. The catastrophic state of the bridge would not have come about "if the CDU-NRW government had done its job properly," criticized Berghahn. The then Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst published a report in 2018 according to which the bridge should be usable until 2025. "This was a catastrophic misjudgment by Mr. Hendrik Wüst," said Berghahn.

"We are now dismantling the hurdles that you have built up for decades," said Carina Konrad (FDP) in the direction of the Union. She described their initiative as an "emotional introduction of the law". It is a "document of your own failures in recent decades". FDP Transport Minister Volker Wissing took over the post from his predecessor Andreas Scheuer (CSU) only a few days after the bridge was closed in December 2021.

Klaus Gräbener, general manager of the IHK Siegen, told the "Siegener Zeitung" that the Union's initiative was going in the right direction. In his opinion, a cross-party alliance of all MPs in the region would have had an even greater effect. It was advertised that the CDU was apparently not interested in working together.