Back in the 1960s, the roads over the Rhine river were built in Germany to cut back on traffic and shorten trips. However, nowadays the Autobahn is supporting every day three times as much the number of cars to around 120,000 vehicles.
After the German authorities discovered numerous cracks, the bridge was closed to trucks and the speed limit was lowered to 60 km per hour.
Ernst Grigat, in charge of overseeing Chempark and two other sites for Currenta – a property management company, said that “It’s stressful for our workers and damaging for all the companies involved. And it’s also a growth barrier for our economy, which needs good infrastructure.”
While the German infrastructure is more solid that the one in the U.S., with the roads in the eastern part of the country holding up well after a renovation in 1989 following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the highways and the bridges in the west that were built up in the 1960s and 1970s are putting the Autobahn in a negative spotlight as the highway system is known for not having a speed limit in numerous places.
Bigger concerns were raised as delays and cost overruns affected Stuttgart’s underground train station by a two-year-delay and a new airport in Berlin that was scheduled to open in 2011 has still years until completion.
While the number of traffic jams in 2013 at a national level reached 415,000, in 2015 the numbers peaked at 568,000, recording a 20% increase in Germany. In the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 140 countries on infrastructure, Germany has gone from holding the bronze spot to the 7th position in only two years.