North Rhine-Westphalia: Floods: Almost all roads and railway lines are free again

The flood of the century last July destroyed many kilometers of roads and rails in NRW.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Floods: Almost all roads and railway lines are free again

The flood of the century last July destroyed many kilometers of roads and rails in NRW. Now there are only isolated closures. The new transport minister wants to focus more on the consequences of climate change in the future.

Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - A good year after the flood disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia, almost all roads and railway lines damaged by the storm are fully passable again. According to Strassen.NRW, there are still full or half-way closures on eleven federal and state roads.

"We are not there yet, but we have already implemented or initiated a large part of the reconstruction of the road infrastructure," said Transport Minister Oliver Krischer (Greens) at the request of the German Press Agency. "The consequences of the climate crisis have shown us once again that we must also make our infrastructure climate-proof."

According to the state company, the roads that are still closed are in the districts of Velbert, Essen, Solingen, Aachen, Euskirchen and in the Märkisches Kreis. Among other things, roadways and embankments would have to be repaired there or retaining walls renewed. Of the 15 bridges that were destroyed, eight have already been rebuilt, and construction of the others is underway or will begin soon.

As a result of the flood disaster, a total distance of around 90 kilometers was initially blocked on the motorways in the southern Rhineland, as the Autobahn GmbH announced. A number of structures such as bridges and noise barriers were destroyed, and landslides had destabilized numerous roads. There are now no more bottlenecks caused by the flood. The last affected section on the A1/A61 was released again in April.

Most of the sections of the railway that were damaged by the flood have also been repaired. The Erfttalbahn route between Euskirchen and Bad Münstereifel will remain closed for even longer. Here, embankments, tracks, level crossings and bridges have been so destroyed that the extensive reconstruction will last beyond 2022, Deutsche Bahn said. Complex repair work is also underway on the Eifel route between Kall and Nettersheim. By the end of 2023, the 160-kilometer Eifel route should be completely passable again.

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