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The 79-hour closure of the Elbe Tunnel starts today

Due to a 79-hour full closure of the A7, drivers in the Hamburg area have to be prepared for considerable disabilities this weekend.

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The 79-hour closure of the Elbe Tunnel starts today

Due to a 79-hour full closure of the A7, drivers in the Hamburg area have to be prepared for considerable disabilities this weekend. Three bridges north of the Elbe tunnel are to be demolished. Construction work is also taking place in the Elbe Tunnel and further south, according to Autobahn GmbH Nord. The full closure will begin at 10 p.m. on Thursday evening and will be lifted around 5 a.m. on Monday morning. The route between Hamburg-Volkspark and Waltershof is initially affected. The closure will be extended to Hamburg-Heimfeld on Friday evening.

National traffic between Hanover and Flensburg is to bypass the full closure over the A1 (Bremen-Lübeck), A21 (Bargteheide-Bad Segeberg) and B205 (Bad Segeberg-Neumünster). The Autobahn company fears significant traffic problems on the alternative routes, especially on Friday. A spokeswoman appealed to drivers to switch to public transport or to work from their home office.

The A7 is one of the busiest autobahns in Germany. Around 120,000 vehicles pass through the Elbe Tunnel every day. The spokeswoman described the construction work as "time-critical". If there is frost at the weekend, the construction site must also be spread. "We can't let the highway ice up," she said.

The three bridges over the A7 have to be demolished because the autobahn will be widened from six to eight lanes and in the Altona area will have a two-kilometre-long noise protection cover. Two of the flyovers were already half demolished in March last year. During the 79-hour full closure, the second half is to be broken off, over which traffic was still running in one lane until recently. In the meantime, the Osdorfer Weg and the Bahrenfelder Chaussee already run over the first elements of the noise protection tunnel. Even during the full closure, drivers should be able to use these roads.

A smaller bridge in the Bahrenfeld district is also due to be demolished this weekend and replaced with a temporary construction for cyclists and pedestrians. The construction of another crossing on Behringstrasse caused problems for the engineers. The construction of the foundations immediately north of the Elbe Tunnel was more complicated than originally thought. That is why the new tunnel element, over which Behringstraße is to pass in the future, can only be assembled from 34 large concrete parts during the full closure. According to the motorway company, there will be another full closure of 55 hours for the complete demolition of the old bridge.

The A7 will also be widened to eight lanes south of the Elbe tunnel. The two new lanes will be placed between the two lanes, which rest on a four kilometer long bridge construction through the Elbmarsch. The project also includes the renewal of the tunnel ramp. In addition, a new motorway junction is being built near Hamburg-Moorburg, which will connect the A7 with the new A26 from Lower Saxony.

The completion of the first tunnel tube is planned for the end of 2025. From then on, all motorway traffic should disappear under the concrete cover. The tunnel should be completely finished by the end of 2028. Two shorter noise protection tunnels were put into operation in Hamburg-Schnelsen in 2019 and in Hamburg-Stellingen in 2021.

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