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After 25 years, a motorway will be finished - at least almost

A new section of Autobahn 26 opened on Friday.

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After 25 years, a motorway will be finished - at least almost

A new section of Autobahn 26 opened on Friday. It is the route between Jork (district of Stade) and Neu Wulmstorf (district of Harburg) near Hamburg. In the afternoon, the opened motorway section is to be released for traffic in the direction of Stade, in the evening in the direction of Hamburg. With the completion of the section, the A26 will be passable from Stade to the state border of Hamburg. With the opening, the goal of creating a connection from Stade to the A7 and thus completing it is a big step closer, according to a statement from the federal highway company.

Lower Saxony's Transport Minister Olaf Lies (SPD) said at the opening: "With the A26 we will relieve the B73 in the long term and bundle traffic." This is important for the industrial and port location of northern Lower Saxony and for noise-plagued citizens on the B73. At the opening, the former Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and current member of the Bundestag, Enak Ferlemann (CDU), praised the city of Cuxhaven for having made it possible to build a bridge over the Este River. That accelerated the construction of the Autobahn.

According to the federal motorway company, the construction and land acquisition costs for the most recently completed section, which is divided into three areas, amount to around 220 million euros. Four lanes, the Buxtehude and Neu Wulmstorf junctions and more than 20 bridges were built. In addition, workers erected noise protection walls with a total length of around 8.5 kilometers. In the future, there will also be two rest areas with toilets along the route, and the planning for this is ongoing.

The Buxtehude junction will remain closed to public transport until further notice. The reason is an ongoing legal battle. The first planning order for the construction of Autobahn 26 had already been given in 1970. The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Autobahn took place in 1998, around 25 years ago. The federal highway company assumes that the A26 will be connected to the A7 in 2026.

But the highway expansion in general is also met with criticism. On Friday, supporters of Fridays for Future painted a huge stop sign on Hamburg's Jungfernstieg to demonstrate against the further expansion of the Autobahn. A month before the announced global climate strike on March 3, there were nationwide protests against highway projects. The environmental movement in Hamburg said it would remove the easily washable paint itself after a day. On Friday there was also an action by the so-called last generation - activists stuck to the street at the Kennedy Bridge to demand more ambition in climate protection. According to the police, there was a massive backlog.

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